SARATOGA SPRINGS — In 1998, Saratoga Springs girls’ lacrosse team won the Section II final with Erinn Dennis-Kolligian on the field. Exactly 20 years later, they’ve won again. This time, Madyson Kolligian, Dennis-Kolligians' daughter, was on the winning team while Dennis-Kolligian, lacrosse coach, stood on the sidelines helping coach Elaine Anton-Lotruglio coach the team to victory. Dennis-Kolligian was an AllAmerican lacrosse player who played collegiately at John Hopkins University. Following in mom’s footsteps is sophomore daughter, Madyson. The only difference is, Dennis-Kolligian played midfield and Kolligian is a defender.
“I got involved in lacrosse because of my mom, I started at an older age than most. Seventh grade is when I wanted to join a school sports team and found my passion in lacrosse,” explained Kolligian.
“I was first introduced by Chuck Waterstram, my elementary gym teacher at Dorothy Nolan, who also influenced my older brother to start playing. My first ‘real’ introduction was getting rolled up in a carpet, helmet on my head and bungee corded into a goal cage by my brother and his friends because they didn’t have a goalie. I figured then that I better learn quick,” Dennis-Kolligian laughed.
“In eighth grade I was able to try out for Saratoga. Coach Carney, who I have had the pleasure to coach with the last two years, gave me a chance at this amazing game 26 years ago,” Dennis-Kolligian explained.
Kolligian just wants to make her mom proud and continue her lacrosse legacy.
“I’ve always been one to want to impress my mom, it’s some big shoes to fill but I’ve been working hard to try and continue what she essentially started. My mom and I have a different relationship. We are very close, we have a lot of laughs but as most mother/daughters we have our disagreements. It’s hardest trying to find the parallel between her being my mom and my coach,” Kolligian explained.
This mother/daughter duo are more alike than they are different. Dennis-Kolligian said they differ most in terms of technology, she has no interest in social media.
“We must have a similar taste in clothing, since I’m always catching her and her sister with my clothes on! We don’t take things too seriously and try to keep life in perspective. We are caring and often put other people first. Mady has a heart of gold. We enjoy playing lacrosse at home with her younger three siblings; Payton, Cate and Karsen,” DennisKolligian said, explaining how else she and her daughter are alike.
Dennis-Kolligian returned to assistant coach for the team in 2015, after a hiatus to raise her two youngest children, when head coach Elaine Anton-Lotruglio called to ask her if she would consider coming back to coach.
“The void inside me, that I didn’t know was there, was instantly filled. I love this game! I love playing it, I love coaching it, I love teaching it, and love that other young girls get to be passionate about it too. We all know that our lessons from a game reach far beyond a sports field and to get to be a part of that, it’s hard to describe. Knowing what Sue Hoffman, Mike Carney, Janine Tucker, Ricky Fried and Lellie Swords did for me. The hope of giving back and paying it forward, even a fraction of what they gave to me, would be priceless,” DennisKolligian stated.
While the current team has had the game date, June 9, in their minds since the first day of the season, Dennis-Kolligian is able, to fully reminisce about her teams winning season.
“I’m so happy that these young ladies get to feel what a sectional win is like. They understand the magnitude of it, and more importantly get to see that hard work, teamwork, hustle and effort do get rewarded! They have inspired the generation of young girls coming up behind them and ignited a new tradition,” DennisKolligian said proudly.
“My favorite part of this season is getting to know these girls. It’s a sisterhood and I know everyone always has my back, including my mom no matter what sideline she’s on,” Kolligian said.