Molly Schiot has come a long way since her days playing lacrosse in New Hampshire. Now living in Los Angeles, Schiot has made a living as a director, working on music videos, commercials and documentaries.
However, she took a year off from her profession to pursue another project — a book. Schiot wrote "Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History," which includes compilation of photos of womens' sports pioneers dating back to the 19th century.
How did you get involved with lacrosse?
My best friend was Brooks Garber. His father, Ted, was the head lacrosse coach at the University of New Hampshire and his grandpa, [lacrosse], was the coach at UMass. The Garber family was a massive, massive lacrosse family and they lived across the street from me.
I have these vivid memories of growing up in New Hampshire and, after the games would go by, there would be this train that would run with these open train cars, and we would try to throw the lacrosse balls through the train cars.
Then I just played with the boys. There wasn't any sort of leagues that really existed for younger kids in New Hampshire. It wasn't until I went to boarding school that I played lacrosse, which is a much different game when you're playing women's lacrosse. I loved it and played for four years in high school.
What did you like about lacrosse?
I just appreciated the fact that it had a really rich history. I liked the pace of the game and the fluidity of women's lacrosse, especially. There was just that freedom.
What was your inspiration for this book?
Watch any documentary series under the sports umbrella. Ninety-nine percent of them are about guys. That's really insulting to women's history and to women in general, because these stories are so interesting and compelling. I started pitching a handful of them and none of them got picked up. I started the Instagram account (@theunsungheroines) as a way of putting them into something that could streamline all the stories. Every day, I've been posting a story about a woman or team or someone that helped, whether it was Title IX or educators or people in Congress that fought for certain bills that allowed women to play sports. That was the impetus for the project.
Did you come across any lacrosse stories in your research?
It's tricky. A lot of the stories that are in the book are from the late 1800s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. I didn’t do that much current. I [was trying] to do everything that got lost before the internet.
There is Constance Applebee, [who] opened up field hockey and got it into all the schools in the United States, and she was a huge advocate for women’s lacrosse. I don’t know the specifics, but the NCAA accepted field hockey as an official sport in 1980 or 1981, and after that, she worked really hard at getting lacrosse also accepted by the NCAA.
It's definitely a hole in my account that I don't have many stories about women playing lacrosse or the history of it, so if anyone has stories of photos, I would be so grateful if they sent it my way.
Still follow lacrosse?
I watched the [NCAA] men's and women's championships this year and I was super blown away by both. I was rooting for Brown, the men's team. I thought that they could have gone all the way.