Honeyford sweetens her attack

Somewhere in the labyrinth below the tennis courts on the Mount Vernon Campus is junior Katelyn Honeyford’s locker. It’s filled with the usual – sweat suits, workout gear and a pair of sneakers. But what distinguishes Honeyford’s locker from the others in the lacrosse squad’s team room is a sign on the inside of the door that reads, “Honey in the Bank, $27.”

The dollar amount is in reference to the defender’s number, which comes from the date of her birthday. This season, Honeyford’s worth can’t be measured by a couple dozen bucks. Thanks to the junior’s four goals, the Colonials won its first Atlantic 10 Conference game of the season April 8 at Massachusetts. The performance earned her Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week honors, just one of many conference awards she has picked up in her three years at GW. She was an A-10 Rookie of the Week two years ago and an All-Conference honorable mention after her sophomore season.

“She is an aggressive player; she has a great one-on-one defense,” coach Chrissy Lombard-Adair said. “On top of that, she’s smart. She’ll come up big in some areas, like with turnovers. She sees the field very well.”

Honeyford leads her squad in forced turnovers with 26. She is third on the team in goals scored with 15 as well as second in shot percentage at just less than 52 percent. She also ranks third in total points with 19.

After defeating Temple Sunday afternoon, the Colonials (7-5, 3-1, A-10) are tied for second place in the A-10 with Richmond and half a game behind St. Bonaventure. With just four games left before the A-10 Championship, GW will need to keep form to earn one of the four spots in the tournament.

“This year we’re pulling through,” Honeyford said. “Last year’s team didn’t do so well. We lost a lot of close games, which was disheartening. But this team has a lot of heart and a lot of passion. We have a lot of talent and a lot more experience.”

After a disappointing 6-11 record last season, the Colonials failed to qualify for the A-10 tournament. Lombard-Adair said she believes this season is different.

“The team is starting to really realize that they can win some close games,” Lombard-Adair said. “They realized they need to come out stronger and play fired up instead of coming out and watching the other team’s tempo.”

Honeyford is a staple of her team’s defense but has also excelled on offense this season. The exercise science major said her scoring has increased simply because she’s been given more opportunities to play attack, but teammate Katherine Sampson said it’s Honeyford’s defensive talent that allows her to succeed on offense.

“(She) knows what to do to frustrate the defenders,” Sampson said. “She takes her skills on defense and uses them on the attack.”

The Moorsetown, N.J., native is known as “Honey” to so many people that she swears some don’t know her first name. Sampson said the nickname is also reflection of her personality.

“(Katelyn’s) amazing. She’s very encouraging and an all-around team player,” Sampson said.

Lombard-Adair added: “She has a great relationship with everyone on the team. They all respect her and she respects everyone as well. She is someone that has an incredible amount of talent and she does everything at 100 percent. She helps spark the team.”

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