It has been a landmark season for UC Davis lacrosse, and one of the main reasons for the Aggies’ success has been the play of senior Gina Hoffmire.
The 5-foot-6 midfielder has had a career year, ranking fourth nationally in goals scored, goals per-game and points per game.
In addition, the Corte Madera, Calif. native ranks second in school history for career goals and third for career points.
Hoffmire sat down with Aggie sports writer Trevor Cramer to discuss the improvements made by the UC Davis lacrosse team, team bonding and the future after graduation.
What is your career highlight from a team perspective?
Beating Cal last season and knocking Oregon out of the playoffs last year. Those were two huge wins for us, and we prided ourselves on beating solid two teams from the conference.
What about on an individual level?
Last year against Temple I shot 7-for-7 and we won the game in overtime, which was really exciting.
You have been near the top of the national leader board for scoring both as a team and as an individual. What has that been like?
We put in a lot of work this offseason working on our offense. I just have such an attacking mentality that I just always want to go to goal and I don’t stop trying to go to goal until I score. Our team has eight players in double figures for scoring, so it has been great to have so many contributors.
Is there one specific move that you go to if you need to score?
Righty drive, either from the top or from the elbow. We have a play called “cannon,” which is basically me driving with a pick. I prefer my right hand, even though I’ve been working on my left in recent years. My favorite spot to hit is the top-right corner of the net.
During your time at UC Davis, the lacrosse program has made tremendous improvements. What has it been like to be a part of that?
It’s been amazing, especially with our program almost getting cut last year. We were worried that we might not be able to build upon what we’d accomplished, but [coach] Elaine [Jones] has done a great job of boosting the program.
It seems like coach Jones is always setting the bar higher for you guys. How does that type of mentality help the team?
She definitely has high expectations and she should, because we do play a Division I sport where we prepare year-round for 14 games. Elaine holds us to individual and team standards that push us a little bit further. She keeps us working hard.
Your team is made up of players from all over the country. How are you all able to get together and bond as a group?
We’re a really tight team. One tradition we have before big games is that we hold a big pasta feed, and that brings us together. Besides that, we spend a lot of time together. On and off the field we have each other’s backs. We stay in contact over summer, and we all make sure that we have a running partner in the offseason.
Why did you choose to come to UC Davis?
It was a good fit for me both athletically and academically. I’m from the Bay Area, so it’s nice to be close to home. I also foresaw the lacrosse program making the strides that it has made over the past few years and I’ve been really satisfied at UC Davis because of lacrosse.
If you weren’t playing lacrosse, is there another sport you would be playing?
I played water polo in high school. I got all-league, but I wasn’t really big enough and I was always more of a runner.
What do you see yourself doing after you graduate?
I would love to work either in public relations or sports marketing. I had a sports marketing internship in Aggie Stadium last year and it was a really positive experience for me. I just want to work with people. I don’t see myself working in an office or in a lab.
Do you see yourself being involved with UC Davis lacrosse in future seasons?
I hope to come back to the games and still have a relationship with the team and the coaches. Anything I can do as far as talking to future players and giving them advice is something I would love to do.
What do you expect from this UC Davis lacrosse team when you’re gone next season?
I know there are at least 12 freshmen coming in, so the team will gain some depth and that’s important. I think in future years we’ll expect to beat Cal, Oregon and Denver every time we play them.
TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at email@example.com.