Fall Ball Focus: Underrated Abby Hormes Back for Final Season With High Point

PHOTO COURTESY OF HIGH POINT ATHLETICS


The High Point women’s lacrosse team got a bit of good news just before the semester ended last spring.

Abby Hormes planned to return for a fifth year.

“It’s an opportunity I never thought I’d be able to get,” Hormes said. “And to be able to get my masters in business on top of playing another year of lacrosse just seemed too good to pass up.”

Hormes thought briefly about playing in a tougher conference than the Big South, in which High Point has gone unbeaten in her four years, but never really tested the transfer portal that has grown so popular among graduate students (undergraduates, too). Hormes would have been welcomed in most any program in the country, even if the record setter had never been an All-American.

“She’s underrated by the lacrosse world as a whole, but definitely not overlooked by teams that we play,” High Point coach Lyndsey Boswell said. “It’s very obvious that she tends to get their best defensive players. I’m kind of waiting for her to get the credit that she deserves.”

Hormes said that she has been overlooked throughout her playing career. She played club for Maryland’s TLC 2017 White, not the more highly regarded TLC 2017 Red. It was Hormes’s White squad, however, that got the last laugh when it beat Red in a tournament championship. Only a handful of players on TLC White went on to play Division I for four years.

“She had to work her way up to being seen,” Boswell said. “She had to showcase herself. We saw her at camp. She had to put herself out there. She’s like that now. Nothing is given to her. I hope she feels we’ve helped her develop as a person and as a lacrosse player. She’s really done a lot on her own.”

Hormes has been on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List to start each of her last two seasons. Last year, she scored four goals in a loss to North Carolina and four goals in a one-goal loss to James Madison. She tallied five points apiece against Duke and Vanderbilt.

“She has had success against top teams,” Boswell said. “I think that’s notable. It’s not like she can only score against certain types of teams. She has in her four years scored against every type of team and every level of team.”

There is nothing individually left for Hormes to accomplish. The former Big South Freshman of the Year and two-time Big South Offensive Player of the Year already has the High Point career records with 209 goals and 281 points. She comes off a fourth year in which she set the single-season program record with 76 goals, which ranked fifth nationally. She already had the single-season points record of 103 in 2019. And she tied her own program record of 79 draw controls last year thanks to her aggressive anticipation of draws.

Her EGA/gm was the best of her career last season, according to Lacrosse Reference. EGA/gm (expected-goals-added per game) takes note any time a player appears in the play-by-play and aggregates all those little contributions into a single score. She ranked in the 99th percentile in the nation.

“I came back to go further with this program than ever before,” Hormes said.







High Point’s NCAA experiences brought her a confluence of connections. Hormes was a high school senior at John Carroll School thrilled to see her future program knock off her mother’s alma mater, Towson, in an NCAA tournament opener in 2017. Last year, High Point fell to another of her home state schools, Maryland, in the first round to end her senior season.

“Growing up when I started playing lacrosse and started being recruited, Maryland was No. 1,” Hormes said. “Every little girl wants to go to Maryland or UNC.”

Hormes didn’t attract that attention. She had one other Division I offer from UMBC, but her heart was already set on High Point, even though it pulled her away from her Fallston, Md. home and tight-knit, athletic family. Her father, Tim Hormes, played at Washington College and then for the Pittsburgh Bulls of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League. Her mom, Gina Profili Hormes, was an All-American defender at Towson and a member of the U.S. women’s national team in 1989 and 1991. Her older brother, Jake, played golf for Towson. Her younger sister, Katie, followed her to High Point last year but has stepped away from the game due to multiple concussions.

“I loved playing sports growing up,” said Hormes, who also grew up playing basketball and soccer. “It was pretty hard to choose which one. I think my parents wanted me to play lacrosse, and I definitely had the most fun in lacrosse compared to the other sports.”

Now she’s looking forward to one final season of college lacrosse after her junior season was reduced to five games by the COVID-19 pandemic. Academically, it made sense for Hormes to stay at High Point when she found out she could work toward her masters in business after earning her undergraduate degree in exercise science with a minor in entrepreneurship. Boswell encouraged her to explore other options, but Hormes found everything she wanted still at High Point.

“That’s a testament to her teammates,” Boswell said. “She wants it for her team.”

Hormes and fellow co-captain Nicole Pugh are the lone High Point players from a year ago to return for a graduate year. Three of the top five scorers graduated and half the team has turned over, which makes this fall important for starting to sort through their new makeup.

“It’s going to be about building chemistry and new connections with other players I’m not used to playing with,” Hormes said. “That’s going to be a big change for me personally on the field and for our whole team as well.”

HIGH POINT AT A GLANCE

High Point assistant coach Kelly McQuilkin has been charting players, and the team has a weekly draft using a modified Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse scoring system for preseason that includes points for selfies with the school president, original cheers at fall sports and finishing study hall first — as well as individual and team success on the lacrosse field ... Lost three games by one goal last year and to Liberty by two goals in a 10-8 year ... Lost nine seniors from last year ... Welcome 13 freshman, its largest class ever ... Gain experience with two transfers — graduate defender Destiny Colón from VCU and redshirt-junior goalie from Penn State, Taylor Suplee ... Panthers have focused on replacing a midfield hurt by the graduation of Ashley Britton ... Senior midfielder Jenna Kraft did three different rotations in the largest public hospital as an international medical aid in Mombasa, Kenya, this summer.

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