The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 17, 2014

Team remembers coach, bus driver a year after crash

GREENSBURG — It was a convincing win on Sunday on the one-year anniversary of a tragic day for the Seton Hill University women’s lacrosse team.

“We’re playing with a lot of inspiration, with a lot of emotion,” coach Courtney Grove said.

Those feelings poured out during a moment of silence before the game against Tiffin University and then during the match that Seton Hill won, 18-10.

A few players wiped away tears during the brief quiet time to remember their pregnant coach, Kristina Quigley, 30, and bus driver Anthony Guaetta, 61, of Westmont.

Both, along with Quigley’s unborn son, were killed when the tour bus the team was traveling in the morning of March 16, 2013, crashed along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Cumberland County.

Nineteen players were injured, and the 2013 season was canceled. The team was headed to Millersville University for a game.

Players have dedicated this season to Quigley.

“I will never forget the words of wisdom we all received from her about lacrosse and about life,” said redshirt sophomore Emily Fagan of Calgary, Canada, in a statement written prior to the game. “Those words are helping all of us remember what is truly important, not only on the field, but off it as well.”

Fagan scored four goals on Sunday.

Dressed in their home uniforms of white tops and black skirts with white trim, it didn’t take long for the Griffins to get into game mode.

The starting lineup was announced with music by hard-rock band AC/DC playing in the background and, within minutes, the ball was in the opposing team’s net.

About 125 spectators cheered on the team during a chilly day under cloudy skies – a large crowd considering it was the final day of the university’s spring break, Athletic Director Chris Snyder said. Many of the people in the stands were family members of players and university athletes, including the men’s lacrosse team.

“I think just them getting back on the field ... was a big deal for them,” Snyder said.

Scheduling a game on the one-year anniversary is part of the positive work Grove has done in taking over the team and preparing members mentally and physically for the season, he said.

A game is “a break from the real world” for the players, Snyder said.

The team has tried to keep the season “as normal as can be,” said Grove, who played with Quigley on Duquesne University’s lacrosse team. Grove helped recruit some of the Seton Hill players before heading to Marquette to coach. She returned for this season.

Investigators believe Guaetta fell unconscious when he suffered a medical emergency a mile east of the Carlisle interchange, causing the bus to veer off the road and into a tree. Quigley, six months pregnant with her second son, was seated behind him.

“I think we have shown a great level of competitiveness so far,” redshirt senior Rachel Hilbert of Perkiomenville, Montgomery County, said in a written statement. “We are using what happened last March as motivation and inspiration.”

Hilbert graduated last year but decided to return and take on another major to play lacrosse during the 2014 season. She scored a goal on Sunday.

Team members attended a Mass on campus on Sunday evening in memory of Quigley, her unborn son and Guaetta.

The players are a “strong group of girls” who have been able to rely on each other and release some of their emotions on the field, Grove said.

“I think that’s why we’re playing so well,” she said.

The team’s record is 4-1 this season with 12 games remaining, nearly all of which will be competition within the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. It’s the team’s first year in the conference.

“It’s going to be tough, but it’s just going to make us better,” Grove said.

Redshirt senior Morgan Cain graduated last year and took on more courses to play. She had three goals on Sunday.

“Coach Quigley was so enthused about lacrosse – she lived the sport in everything she did – and she considered this team to be part of her family,” Cain, of Fairmont, W.Va., said in a written statement. “We were her girls and we will do everything we can to honor her memory.”

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