The sisters are back together.
A native of Baltimore, Md., where the locals bleed lacrosse, Lacey Aumiller picked up her first stick in the fourth grade. Her younger sister, Lauren, followed not long after. Separated by two years, Lauren and Lacey were rarely in the same age brackets growing up and could not play on the same teams until both were in high school. But when Lacey graduated and came to Virginia, the sisters once again were estranged.
This season, though, Lauren joined her sister to become a Cavalier, and the Aumillers once again are reunited on the lacrosse field.
"We played together in high school, so we pretty much know what it was like [to play together], but it's good to be back playing with her," said Lauren, a freshman midfielder.
Heading into tonight's home game against George Mason, Lacey said having Lauren on the team this year has made playing lacrosse especially enjoyable for her.
"It's been so much fun," said Lacey, a junior attacker. "I definitely enjoy playing with [Lauren] and having her on my team. It's better than not having her."
Ever since Lauren was old enough to join her sister on the field, the two have worked together constantly to hone their skills. As a result of their years of hard work, Lauren and Lacey have a feel for each other on the field that few teammates can claim to possess.
"There are definitely times when I know what [Lauren]'s going to be doing next, because I've played with her and lived with her my whole life," Lacey said. "I think there's some chemistry there that you don't have with any other teammates, and that just comes from playing together for so long and being with each other day in and day out."
After registering 26 points in her freshman season, Lacey has added depth to the potent Cav attack this year. She has tallied 30 goals and 14 assists over the course of her three-year career, including seven goals and five assists this year.
Lauren has made her presence felt as a freshman. A contender for the ACC Rookie of the Year award, Lauren ranks third on the team with 23 goals. Her 11 assists are second only to senior attacker Jamie Haas. In her rookie season, Lauren is currently the Cavaliers' third-leading scorer.
Lauren said she has found that having a sister who knows the ropes of Division I lacrosse made her jump from high school to college much easier.
"If something does go wrong, [Lacey] has more experience, so I go to her and ask her questions. That's always nice," Lauren said. "If I get really frustrated or down, she's always there to talk to me, to help me through things."
At the beginning of the school year, Lauren found that Lacey's presence also was indispensable off of the lacrosse field. Flying into Virginia from Australia, where she captured the 1999 International Federation of Women's Lacrosse World Championship as the captain of the U.S. under-21 women's lacrosse team, Lauren arrived at school two weeks late. She had missed all the first-year orientation rituals and needed to catch up with her classes. Thankfully for her, Lacey was there to help her out like any good sister would.
"I got here two weeks late, so it was nice to have someone as close as [Lacey] to show me around," Lauren said. "I was in a couple of classes with her in the fall, which was nice because she got me caught up with all my work. She's one of my best friends here."
On a team where chemistry is not really a problem, having the Aumillers together adds another level of closeness to the women's lacrosse team.
"I think the team this year is just so cohesive, and the fact that there are sisters on it just adds to that," Cav coach Julie Myers said. "It just solidifies it that much more."
But things are not always rosy.
"Sometimes we get in fights," Lauren joked.