Alexandria the Great
Alexandria Quast holds a remarkable record.
When the Tiffin University lacrosse virtuoso sat down for an interview Thursday morning, she was the all time points leader in Division II.
In lacrosse, you get a point for goal and a point for an assist. Going into today’s Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinal game with Lake Erie, Quast has 392 career points, one point ahead of LIU Post’s Jackie Sileo, who had a game scheduled Thursday.
Quast answered every question, but bristled when it was suggested it would be a short-lived mark.
“It’s frustrating when you guys keep saying someone’s going to take it,” Quast said. “I don’t go out there and say ‘OK, I have to go out there and beat this record because of this person.’ I don’t think about that at all. The only thing that comes to my head is that right now, winning is the only thing that matters. I know the girl in Long Island feels the same way.”
Still, it is worth noting the enormity of what the senior has accomplished in her four seasons at TU. When Quast arrived in 2010, Tiffin was in its first season as a full-fledged varsity program. The Dragons went 2-13, and Quast was not put in a position to be a primary scorer. She finished that season with just 17 goals (by contrast, she has 90 this season).
More than a few people have wondered aloud how many goals she would have had if she’d been utilized differently.
“She worked hard to get here,” said Tiffin lacrosse coach Erica Brown. “Freshman year she wasn’t playing in the position she should have been playing in. So if you think about that record, she did it in three years, whereas (Sileo) did it in four. To take away that kind of ‘well, you’re only going to have it for a day or two,’ well, guess what? No other player in the history of Division II has ever held that position.”
Quast, a Lockport, NY native, said she came to Tiffin because of the opportunity.
“As a freshman, I was a walk-on,” Quast said. “So I had the opportunity to play Division II, and that was something that I thought was great for me, and it fit me as in the size of the school, how far away it is from home.”
After her freshman season, the Dragons changed coaches, as Mark Schreiber was replaced by Colleen Dixon, a switch that suited the then-sophomore.
“I give full credit to Colleen Dixon … I think she put players in the places they needed to be to succeed,” Quast said. “That’s what a coach does. She realized that I could play midfield, which is what I played in high school, that I could run both sides of the field defensive-wise and then be a threat attack-wise.”
Quast started thriving in her sophomore year. She scored 84 goals, added 13 assists, and helped the Dragons improve to 7-9.
Quast had another outstanding season in 2012, scoring 82 goals and increasing her assists to 22. But the team struggled to just three wins. Dixon resigned after the season, and Brown became Quast’s third coach in four years.
By this time, Quast had not only established herself as one of the best players in the country, but also as a leader.
“I was a captain since my freshman year, but it’s kind of hard for freshman to step into that place, especially when girls are way older than you,” she said. “But I can see myself changing just on the field in general, and I’m able to direct things more. I have full confidence in girls on my team. I’m not afraid at all – and it has been this way for four years now – not afraid to say what’s on my mind.”
Brown said it was important for her to talk to Quast right away.
“I called her to get a feel for the team,” Brown said. “Just talking with her on the phone, she’s the type of kid that you want in your program. She wants to work hard. She wants everyone around her to work hard.”
It’s been a big season for Quast and the Dragons. They have set a program record for wins with nine, and still have a chance to win the first GLIAC Tournament for lacrosse.
“I tell the girls all the time that I’ve waited four years to be in a conference,” Quast said. “And I didn’t really realize the impact it would have on it until I’m here right now.”
Quast said she was motivated as soon as the preseason GLIAC rankings came out.
“I think we were in fourth,” Quast said. “I was like, ‘there’s no way we’re in fourth, because of the potential we have on this team.'”
The Dragons are not a one-player squad. Emily Roussel is fourth in the GLIAC with 55 goals, while Katelyn Hill has 38 goals. Goalkeeper Jessica Bombard is third in the league in fewest goals allowed per game.
“I’m super-excited to play this weekend to show them that we should be ranked higher than fourth. We’re going out there and we have all the potential in the world to come out with a win on Sunday [in the finals].”
No matter what happens this weekend, Quast has certainly made people take notice of a program that, a little more than five years ago, didn’t even exist.
“When I came in my freshman year, I know there were people on campus who didn’t even know what the sport was, which is understandable,” Quast said. “Now that the school’s getting behind us, I know we walked out (from) halftime the other day, and people were cheering. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard in my life here at Tiffin.”
Tiffin plays Lake Erie at 4:30 p.m. today on the campus of Grand Valley State University. If they win, the Dragons will play Sunday for the tournament title.