Favorite athlete: Taylor Cummings
Favorite team: Phillies
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: I wore the same cleats from my freshman to junior year in soccer, and they were my favorite cleats ever. They kept getting holes in them, but I refused to get rid of them so I taped them every day before practice and games. One game towards the end of my junior year, I went to shoot the ball and the toe of my cleat got stuck on one of the many bumps on our entire field and the entire bottom of my shoe fell off! I had to hop off the field and eventually had to get a new pair.
Music on iPod: Country
Future plans: Play lacrosse at West Chester University and study international business with a minor in German
Words to live by: “You can either have results or excuses, not both.”
One goal before turning 30: Have a good job and a famly.
By Mary Jane Souder
Sydney Bachmayer is easy to pick out in a crowd.
She’s the one with the perpetual smile, the one everyone gravitates to, the one who looks as though she’s having fun in every setting. It takes no time at all to understand why the Upper Moreland senior is so valued by her coaches.
“Athletic ability aside, just her personality, her work ethic – if you could have a team of 20 of her, you would have a great team,” Upper Moreland lacrosse coach Kim Frantz said.
“Sydney has an infectious personality and spirit,” said UM soccer coach Lisa Benvenuto, who has coached Bachmayer since seventh grade in multiple sports. “She is a smart, funny and charismatic young woman.
“She is a natural leader, athlete and competitor. She embodies all of the characteristics that a coach would want in a player.”
When Frantz took over the helm of the UM lacrosse program during the offseason, she didn’t have to look far to find her go-to person on the squad.
“She’s actually one of the first kids I met when I got the job,” the Bears’ first-year coach said. “She was always, day one, the person I contacted, the person I went through.
“They had already turned in their money for winter league, so she was the person I talked directly with from day one. She’s a great leader and just has a great personality. Her parents did a great job with her, for sure.”
While Bachmayer may be the owner of an infectious personality, she is a fierce competitor when she steps onto the field. She recently broke the school’s record for career goals of 200 held by 2016 graduate Delaney Smith, and Bachmayer is a dangerous weapon for the Golden Bears on attack.
“She’s definitely the kid – if we need a goal – we’re running something so she can get in there and get a goal,” Frantz said. “She’s the person we focus on when we need to get something done.
“In that aspect, she’s definitely the leader on the field, and I can count on her to get done what we need to get done.”
Bachmayer, a four-year varsity player, entered her final high school season needing 47 goals to reach the 200-goal mark, and while reaching that milestone is an accomplishment by any standard, it’s even more impressive considering she is playing with perpetual pain in both of her legs. She was diagnosed with compartment syndrome this winter that will require surgery in both legs.
“I remember in my soccer season this year I had tightness in my calves, and we couldn’t really figure out what it was from,” Bachmayer said. “So I went to PT for it, and they said I could have compartment syndrome.
“From going to PT, it was gradually getting better, so we sort of overlooked what they said about compartment syndrome.”
Bachmayer opted to give up her third sport – basketball – this year, and the symptoms subsided.
“In the beginning, it was only brought on by strenuous activity,” she said. “Once I tarted playing (winter) lacrosse again in January, it started happening again.”
A visit to a sports doctor and some ensuing tests confirmed that Bachmayer did, in fact, have compartment syndrome. This spring her activity has been limited to playing in the games with practices spent icing her legs on the sidelines.
“It’s really hard because I wish I could practice, and I feel bad sometimes because my whole team is working so hard,” Bachmayer said. “I know there are some younger girls who are working really hard to get playing time, and I’m just sort of there not working as hard as they are.
“Sometimes I help the jayvee coach, and sometimes I walk through plays and help people if I can.”
Bachmayer admits feeling a level of frustration, but she hasn’t kept her from making a difference for her team.
“I shouldn’t really be playing in the games either, but I want to,” she said. “It’s really bad after I play games.
“I’ll be walking around school, and I’ll walk up stairs and my legs will start getting really tight and cramping up. It’s more of an uncomfortable feeling until I start running around playing. I sort of forget about it, and then afterwards, it’s awful.
“I remember having a game at night and then the next day had one in the afternoon. The next day I could barely walk.”
Bachmayer is planning to have surgery in both legs when her final high school season is completed.
“My college coaches said to get it done as soon as I can,” Bachmayer said.
Playing collegiate lacrosse wasn’t on the radar for Bachmayer until high school. As a youngster, she was committed to gymnastics but gave that up when she began playing soccer.
“When my brother was old enough to play intramural sports, he was a big soccer player, so I decided to play,” Bachmayer said. “I tried out for the travel team and ended up being pretty good.”
She played travel soccer through the Upper Moreland Soccer Club until the end of her freshman year. Lacrosse didn’t enter the picture until she was in seventh grade.
“One of my neighbors actually played lacrosse, and I always saw her playing outside, so we would play together,” Bachmayer said.
The summer going into eighth grade, she began paying club lacrosse with Bucks Select but opted to take a break from it the summer after her sophomore year.
“It takes a lot of your summer and I wanted my summer back,” Bachmayer said.
By the following summer, she knew she wanted lacrosse back.
“I realized I wanted to play in college,” she said.
Bachmayer is committed to continue her career at West Chester, although her journey to the perennial Division II power had an interesting start.
“My club coach used to play at West Chester, and she came up to me and said, ‘How do you like West Chester? Have you ever visited it?’” Bachmayer recalled. “I remember my mom had always been trying to convince me to go to West Chester, but I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to go there. I want to go far away’ because my whole family lives in Colorado and California.”
Upper Moreland attended team camp at West Chester the summer entering Bachmayer’s junior year, and suddenly, she was singing a different tune.
“I fell in love with it,” she said. “My coach talked to the West Chester coaches.”
The rest is history. Bachmayer is committed to continue her lacrosse career at a school she wanted no parts of just a few short years ago.
A four-year varsity player in lacrosse and soccer, she has been a major contributor in both.
“When competing, she has an intensity level that is unparalleled,” Benvenuto said. “She knows how to find the back of the goal and will do whatever it takes to get the ball there.
“She is an unselfish player and plays both soccer and lacrosse the way the game is intended to be played. Hands down, Syd is the reason why during many competitions her teammates step up – it is Sydney who sets the tone, all the while finding her teammates open and encouraging them from the field.”
On the lacrosse field, Bachmayer is a natural scorer but displayed her versatility earlier this season.
“I actually had her on defense because we were missing one of our defenders,” Frantz said. “She jumped right in there.
“I needed her voice, I needed her leadership voice-wise, and a strength I see in her is her leadership and her voice, and she did great.”
For Bachmayer, competing in high school sports has been more than just an opportunity to create lifetime friendships.
“I cannot imagine not playing sports,” she said. “I’ve always been busy, and being busy helps me keep up my grades because I know I have to do it for sports.
“I’ll go home from practice, eat, do homework, go to bed and do the same thing the next day.”
It was her lacrosse team that gave Bachmayer a go-to place when her mother passed away on Feb. 6 of this year.
“A few days afterwards, I had a winter lacrosse practice, and I just remember all I really wanted to do was go to practice, even though I wasn’t in school so I couldn’t technically go,” Bachmayer said. “That’s all I really wanted to do because I enjoy playing lacrosse.
“A lot of my friends are on the team, and they’re fun people I wanted to be around.”
Count on Bachmayer to be in the middle of a new circle of ‘fun people’ next year at West Chester where she plans to major in international business with a minor in German.
It’s a switch from the special education major the president of UM’s Athletes Helping Athletes was certain was certain she’d pursue for as long as she can remember.
“My whole life I’ve always enjoyed working with special needs kids, and I always wanted to be a special ed teacher, but this year I was sort of second guessing myself,” said Bachmayer, who also works with Special Olympics. “Over the summer, I did an exchange program in Germany and Iceland, and I just really like travelling. It was a lot of fun.
“I really like talking German. I was thinking of ways I could make my career into something I could tie both of those into, and I figured I’ll have more opportunities doing international business and I could always do things with special ed kids on the side.”
Bachmayer is also involved in the Bear Buddies Club, which brings sports to students with special needs in the school. She is also active in Key Club.
“Sydney has always enjoyed working with her peers with special needs and being a true friend to so many of them,” Benvenuto said. “The smile never fades from Sydney’s face, regardless of the obstacles that she is confronted with.
“She is a determined young woman with a very bright future ahead of her.”