The Baltimore-based Schneidereith quadruplets stick together -- even these days when, technically, they're not sticking together.
With lacrosse sticks, that is.
The famous sisters, who were featured on
People magazine's website in 2015 as all four earned college scholarships out of Towson High School, are now all starting on Division I lacrosse teams. Jamie and Lucy, the identical twins in the foursome, are midfielders at Drexel. Goalkeeper Georgia is at Albany, and Maggie is a leading scorer on attack, closer to home at Johns Hopkins. All four are juniors.
"I always wonder what it would be like if we were together," Maggie said. "Our parents would be so happy for us to be in one place all at once. It has been a weird situation. We're part of our family within our teams at our schools, but we still have a strong connection with each other."
But it's not the same as the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week existence the sisters shared the first 18 years of their lives. After much discussion as they were making their college decisions, it was Maggie who made the first move, deciding to become a Blue Jay and breaking up the Schneidereith lacrosse party.
"Maggie was the first to commit," Georgia said. "She said, 'Guys, I'm sorry, but I want to do my own thing.' I was crushed. I was like, 'Nooooooooo!' But I understood. It's really nice to have your own life, your own experiences."
Often at the expense of individuality, all four sisters had grown up with a group identity that often defined them among those who first met them and came to know them collectively. They had the same friends, the same schedule, the same passion for lacrosse, and all four were together more often than not. They have no other siblings.
"At that point we were so used to being together, but then the thought of being on our own was exciting," said oldest -- by a full minute -- sister Jamie. "I have that older child personality, the maternal one. It's hard that I'm not with them all the time, but when we get together it's so great. There's so much to catch up on."
Lucy said the sisters call Jamie "General Jamie," because she often took the lead, and when push came to shove, Lucy and Jamie decided they would go to school together.
"Drexel reached out to me and Jamie, too," Lucy said. "Which makes sense because we're pretty much the exact same player. I wasn't expecting her to come here, but when we were sitting in the coach's office, we both just knew."
But even the two closest of the sisters wanted some distance. They haven't roomed together, and since Lucy is a nursing major and Jamie is in finance, they don't share many classes. They have really only been together at the Philadelphia school on the lacrosse field and in the locker room. That will change next year when they are roommates again.
Old habits die hard.
And lacrosse has been their most significant habit since they were about 6 years old, as parents Wilbur and Jenny Schneidereith encouraged them in all pursuits, especially lacrosse.
"It became a family thing," Maggie said. "With our dad coaching us, yeah, sometimes we missed playing soccer or basketball or swimming, but there was something special about lacrosse for us, and something that made us want to stick with it."
"Lacrosse was the only sport we all played together where we were all pretty good," Jamie said.
And there was a reason for that. Wilbur had played back in the day, and he coached them in the sport right up until high school. He passed along his passion and knew enough about the game to help them thrive.
"Dad put us in positions that fit," said Georgia, who had the toughest time finding a home on the field. "Lucy and Jamie could run for days so they were natural midfielders. Maggie was so driven, she was great on attack."
And when the quadruplets first played rec league, only Georgia lagged behind. She was on a "B" team, while the others were running with the best players. That's when Wilbur thought maybe her hand-eye coordination and toughness would make her a great fit in goal.
Georgia slotted in as the Great Danes' starting goalkeeper this season, and she ranks among the America East Conference leaders in goals-against average.
"All three of [my sisters] pushed me to be who I am today," said Georgia, a communications major and business minor at Albany. "I probably wouldn't have kept playing without the motivation from them, having their support and the fun. It's a unique connection a lot of people don't understand. We fought sometimes when we were younger, but now I just want to be with them. We obviously have so much in common."
All of the Schneidereiths are high achievers and seem to have a knack for being great teammates. Essentially, they've been teammates their whole life. They are articulate, passionate about their pursuits and ready to make a mark in the real world next spring when they graduate.
Not surprisingly, Wilbur said it has all just flown by from where he sits.
"I had a lot of fun coaching them, but I had no idea what to expect as they got into the older age groups," Wilbur said. "We just kept plodding through. I never thought in middle school they would all go on to play lacrosse in college."
He and Jenny log a lot of hours and mileage watching as much live lacrosse action as possible, and the internet has helped them see all of their daughters play on a consistent basis.
Jamie and Lucy were starting and scoring (a combined 18 goals through the first 10 games) for Drexel before Lucy sprained her ankle, which caused her to miss time.
Perhaps Maggie's career has taken flight fastest, playing for the local Blue Jays. She led Hopkins in scoring with 42 goals entering play April 13, and she was named Big Ten
Offensive Player of the Week, posting nine goals and four assists during back-to-back victories against Saint Joseph's and Hofstra in early March. She has been the model of consistency, scoring at least a point in 20 straight games, and she's already climbing the program's all-time leaderboards.
"Maggie was the quiet one growing up, but her personality is really strong," Lucy said. "She really wanted to branch out and is an amazing player and has really developed in college."
Not surprisingly, Maggie credited her sisters.
"We were raised very different from a lot of teenagers," she said. "We want to achieve so much because of the way we grew up. There has always been competition with each other. If Jamie got an 'A' in a class, Lucy would want to get an 'A,' too. It really had an effect on us and has done wonders for us, I think."
For Wilbur, he sees his and Jenny's role as parents as just a small piece of what their daughters have accomplished.
"It's incredible what's going on now when you see celebrities spending millions of dollars to get their kids in schools and parents writing papers for kids," Wilbur said. "That's insane to me. The one thing I guess we did was we let them fail."
He laughed that by third grade they were all making their own lunches. Each of them forgot -- once. That was all it took. Soon they were doing their own laundry.
"We didn't enable them that much," Wilbur said. "We helped, but we let them figure things out on their own."
Then again, each of the Schneidereith girls had three constant reminders of what she needed to do, and they were obviously paying attention. Now the quadruplets are well on their way to achieving goals that don't have so much to do with a stick and a ball.
"The weirdest thing now is having some alone time, though we've all got roommates," Jamie said. "We've adjusted. It has been a great experience for all of us."
They all text or Snapchat or talk regularly, and they love introducing friends they have made on their own to their sisters. Some of them are delighted that many of their fellow students don't know they are quadruplets. They never got to experience that sort of separate identity back home in Lutherville, Md.
Maggie, a sociology major, said the chance to establish themselves as individuals has been nice for all of them. It's funny, though -- it's not as important to them as it was three years ago coming out of high school.
They are quadruplets and they know it, and that, really, is all that has ever mattered.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletics,
Sideline Photos/Greg Carroccio, Bill Ziskin
Issue 253: April 2019