Abby Hormes: Unapologetic Single-Season Goals Queen

PHOTO COURTESY OF HIGH POINT ATHLETICS


Abby Hormes saw the comments. Hours after scoring her 103rd goal of the year, breaking the NCAA Division I women’s single-season mark of 102 set by Boston College’s Charlotte North last year, the High Point graduate student scrolled through social media and noticed posts about her achievement — and the reactions.

“Unfortunately, there are people who think that Charlotte North’s record was more impressive,” she said.

Don’t expect Hormes to apologize — for the conference she plays in (Big South), the jersey she wears or the record she now owns.

“I don’t believe that it comes down to the conference,” Hormes said. “We still play UNC, Duke and other teams out of conference … It was one of my favorite moments in my career.”

Hormes is used to being discounted and overlooked. Her father, Tim Hormes, played for Washington College and in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League. Her mother, Gina Hormes, was an All-American defender at Towson and has her picture hanging in the athletic department’s Hall of Fame. She played on the U.S. women’s national team in 1989 and 1991.

Gina Hormes didn’t force lacrosse on her daughter, but she signed her up for it when she was around 4 years old. Despite her good genes, Hormes wasn’t a standout growing up. She was on her B team in club lacrosse. Her mother, a personal trainer, coached her and helped her with strength and conditioning. She didn’t get any breaks for being the coach’s kid.

“She was not my daughter when we were coaching along with other clients and teammates,” Gina Hormes said. “She was either a teammate or a client in the gym.”

Outside of the gym and off the practice field, Abby Hormes was in the backyard with her lax-playing family catching and shooting. She missed varsity as a freshman at John Carroll (Md.) but made it as a sophomore. Still, the top schools in the area — Maryland and North Carolina — didn’t come calling.

“She was a bit of a late developer in terms of her body,” Gina Hormes said. “There were athletes who were bigger than her and just as good as her, so [college coaches] would take the bigger athletes.”

But she knew her daughter had what it took to play Division I lacrosse.

“She was a diamond in the rough, and she had pretty incredible field IQ and worked super hard not only off the field but on the field,” Gina Hormes said. “I didn’t have a doubt in her ability.”

For a while, Abby Hormes was set on staying close to home. She considered UMBC. But her cousin, Jason Ashwood, played for the High Point men’s lacrosse team. Abby visited the campus. She was sold.

“People compare it to Disney World,” Abby Hormes said. “It’s got a steakhouse and pools. That’s super enticing.”

She didn’t just want to eat steak. She wanted to be a part of history, too.

“I wanted a program where I would see the field and make an impact and help them get to the top 20 and be part of that growth,” she said.







And something special was brewing in High Point under head coach Lyndsey Boswell. In 2017, the year before Hormes arrived on campus, the Panthers won their first NCAA tournament game, beating her mother’s alma mater, Towson, 21-15.

Before Hormes left, her mother reminded her of something she’d carry throughout her career — advice that served her well when she was scrolling through social media last weekend.

“She didn’t get much recognition as a defender at Towson, which isn’t a Maryland or UNC,” Abby Hormes said. “She deserved it more. She would always tell me, ‘It’s not about that. You’re not going to get it if you don’t go to a Maryland or a UNC.”

But Hight Point did grab headlines when Hormes suited up for her freshman year. In fact, she helped take the program to another level. Those haters on social media may want to check her receipts — she’s got plenty. As a freshman, she helped lead the Panthers past ACC schools in then-No. 21 Notre Dame and then-No. 19 Duke. Abby scored six times in that Duke win. The Panthers burst into the Top 20, peaking at No. 16 in the national polls. Hormes went on to grab Big South Freshman of the Year honors and a conference title.

As a sophomore, she scored twice in HPU’s win over then-No. 14 Johns Hopkins.

“Those three games [against Notre Dame, Duke and Johns Hopkins] are some of the ones I will remember forever because High Point proved itself,” Hormes said. “I feel like, at this point, we shouldn’t have to, but it’s going to be that way for a while, unfortunately.”

Hormes didn’t have much more to prove heading into her fifth season. She had already rewritten the school’s record book and led HPU to three Big South championships and NCAA tournament appearances. After her true senior year, she already owned the school’s career goals (209) and points (281) records and single-season marks for draws (79, 2019 and 2021), goals (76, 2021) and points (103, 2019).

She wanted to take advantage of the fifth year of eligibility granted by the NCAA after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. In today’s climate, this would have been the perfect chance to enter the transfer portal. She probably could have gotten an offer from a Big Ten or ACC school. But Hormes decided to stick with the crew that knew her name long before she started breaking records and showing up on opposing team’s scouts.

“High Point has shown so much loyalty to me, so I wanted to show that loyalty back,” she said.

Hormes repaid HPU by piecing together the best season of her career. In addition to her 103 goals, she posted new school standards of 124 draws and 124 points. She collected more receipts, shining against ranked opponents. Abby posted four points against No. 9 Duke, four goals against No. 10 James Madison and five goals against No. 1 North Carolina. 

On May 6, she became the eighth player in college lacrosse history to reach the 400-point mark in the Panthers’ Big South semifinal win over Campbell. Two days later, she broke the goals mark for the 405th point of her career. It would be her last. High Point lost to Mercer 16-13 in the Big South championship game. For the first time in her High Point tenure, the team did not make the NCAA tournament.

“I wanted to win so bad,” Hormes said. “This year, it wasn’t our day. It taught me that lacrosse is a crazy game and can go any way.”

Hormes doesn’t believe her lacrosse days are over. She hopes to play in Athletes Unlimited this summer and is training the next generation of players with her mother. As she enters the next chapter, Mom just wants her daughter to hold her head high.

“I hope that she realizes that no matter what the naysayers say that she accomplished a pretty awesome feat and broke so many records,” Gina Hormes said. “No matter who she played for, she still did it. I hope other people realize that she is just as good as any of those top-five team’s players. I hope she goes on to play pro. She’s good enough.”

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