They call this protection??? #nohelmets

They call this protection??? #nohelmets

Travis-Sham-Mockery at the FHSAA Board; Pulling Helmet Mandate Was Never On the Table

via Florida Lacrosse News

Getting To Know Team STX: Taylor D’Amore

Getting To Know Team STX: Taylor D'Amore

via Inside Lacrosse

Vital Stats:

Name: Taylor D’Amore

Hometown: Canandaigua, NY

High School: Canandaigua Academy

College: Johns Hopkins University

Position: Attack

How many times a week did you practice lacrosse during high school and college?

I probably practiced five to six times a week. I loved being outside and was always in my yard playing wall ball. In high school, we painted an 8-meter in the yard and played out there even more than I had official practices with my team. 

When did you know you wanted to play lacrosse in college?

I always knew I wanted to play lacrosse, I just wasn’t sure what level I planned to play at. I didn’t know if I would be able to play lacrosse and keep up with academics once I got to college, but eventually decided that I wanted to continue playing and would be able to handle both. 

What is your favorite training exercise?

At Hopkins, my current STX teammate Sammy Cermack and I had a shooting routine we did one to two times a week. 

What is your favorite team bonding exercise?

I’m from a small town in upstate New York so we used to have what we called the ‘Redneck Games’ on a teammates’ farm. The girls lacrosse program would compete in wheelbarrow races, skeet shooting and other team games. With STX recently, the team had a blast bonding in Vail during our whitewater-rafting trip. 

What was the most exciting game you’ve ever played in?

During my senior year at Hopkins we beat Penn State in the ALC quarterfinals. At that point we knew our spot was solidified in the NCAA and it was a great feeling to accomplish something we had been working towards for four years. 

What are some of things you’re excited about for the upcoming season?

I’m thrilled to be playing with some of my former Hopkins teammates and others who I competed against in college and now get to play on the same team with for STX and on the U.S. National Team. It’s great to have a chance to continue playing lacrosse and to be able to use that experience to grow the game and connect with even more fellow lacrosse players. 

What are the five things you always have in your bag at tournaments with Team STX?

I always carry STX Breeze Lightweight Gloves, tape, a backup stick, lots of water, and a stone that that says ‘Breathe.’ Sammy (Cermack) gave me the stone the summer between my sophomore and junior year right before U.S. tryouts to help me remember to stay calm and to believe in myself. Every time I see the stone now it still reminds me that if I just take a minute to take a breathe, I’ll be fine. 

What was your childhood nickname?

Growing up everyone called me Tay and once I got to college my teammate, Jenna Reifler, started calling me T-bone. No one really knows how it came about, but it stuck! 

What is your favorite comfort food?

I love Reese’s and anything with chocolate and peanut butter. At Hopkins, Coach Tucker had a candy drawer and I used to always pop in and grab some. 

Why do you wear number 7?

I started playing travel soccer in 3rd grade and my first jersey there was number seven. Ever since then, that’s what I’ve stuck with in every sport. 

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

First, I would put away a large chunk of it for savings. Anything I had left over I would use for traveling. I recently took a backpacking trip in Europe and would love to hike through the Patagonia mountains or somewhere in Africa. 

What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?

I don’t think one moment defines you, it’s about every day trying to do something to make yourself stronger – whether that’s trying something new or helping someone else out. 

What advice would you give to young girls playing lacrosse?

To strengthen your skills, always get out and practice wall ball. What is most important are the little things you do outside of practice, not what you do in those three hours with your team. 

Fear the Tree!!! #GoStanford @StanfordWlax

Fear the Tree!!! #GoStanford @StanfordWlax

15 for ‘15 - Lacrosse Magazine’s Freshmen to Watch

by Brett Amadon and Mark Macyk, Lacrosse Magazine (LaxMagazine.com)

Fall ball is all about the new kids on the block. Each September, Lacrosse Magazine picks 30 newcomers — 15 men and 15 women — poised to make an immediate impact for college teams that could utilize them in a big way right away. 

Players are listed in alphabetical order:

Samantha Brescia - UMass

Brescia, who started on defense since her freshman year at Long Island power Farmingdale, could make a similar immediate impact in Year 1 in Amherst. UMass will be seeking its seventh consecutive A-10 title and its defense, which ranked No. 2 in the country last season, should only be better with Brescia on board.

Mary Claire Byrne - Virginia Tech

The Hokies will be looking for an immediate spark after going winless in the stacked ACC for the second consecutive season. Byrne, an intelligent player with a quick shot who piled up 103 goals, 68 assists and 107 ground balls for Holy Family (Va.) last year, could certainly provide it.

Madison Crutchfield - Duke

The dynamic midfielder led St. Paul’s (N.H.) in scoring and assists for four straight years and will look to carve out a role on a stacked Duke team that still features Kerrin Maurer and Taylor Trimble. If Crutchfield breaks out, the Blue Devils will be tough to beat, even in the ACC.

Marissa Hudgins - Brown

The Bears were better than their 9-6 record indicated, and three losses came by one goal. The hard-working midfielder out of West Genesee (N.Y.) 25 goals, 13 assists, 5 charges taken, is the kind of player who can swing those results, and Brown graduated its two leading scorers.

Lauren Hudson - Cincinnati

Last season, the Bearcats struggled mightily, as they went winless in their conference and suffered blowout losses to the likes of Notre Dame and Louisville. The addition of Hudson, an All-American out of Maryvale Prep (Md.), is a good step to solidifying a defense that is necessary to win big games and draw the attention of more recruits.

Amanda Ignacio - Georgetown

The versatile attacker led the IAAM in points a year ago, when she averaged nearly seven a game for Mount de Sales (Md.). That will come in handy at Georgetown, which averaged almost 12 points per game last season, but graduated three of its five leading scorers.

Gussie Johns - USC

Johns started out playing lacrosse with the boys when she was four years old, so the aggressive goalie will have something to talk about right away with Trojans assistant Devon Wills. Johns was known for kick-starting the transition game while at St. Stephen and St. Agnes (Va.), and is the kind of goalie that can redefine a young program.

Kenzie Kent - Boston College

The creative midfielder out of Noble and Greenough (Mass.) will get a chance to impact her new school even before the lacrosse season starts, when she suits up for the Eagles’ ice hockey team. When the spring comes she’ll swap sticks and find a team in need of offensive weapons after the graduation of Mikaela Rix and Covie Stanwick.

Hilary Lemonick - Cornell

Lemonick arrives in Ithaca more mature than your average freshman. The No. 1 ranked incoming defender credits being diagnosed with diabetes at age seven with helping her grow up in a hurry. The Big Red, who graduated two starting defenders, will need that kind of leadership.

Marie McCool - North Carolina

Championships are now expected at Chapel Hill, which is something McCool is cool with. The graceful midfielder won three straight New Jersey Tournament of Champion titles at Moorestown, which has won its last 77 games. Plenty of players have graduated since UNC’s 2013 NCAA title, McCool can help continue the winning tradition immediately.

Kelly Myers - Stanford

After leading Georgetown Visitation (D.C.) with 92 goals last season, Myers switches coasts and heads to Palo Alto, where she will fight for playing time on a talented Cardinal squad that ranked 11th in Division I in scoring a year ago.

Shayna Pirrecca - Florida

Fresh off a Long Island championship at Mt. Sinai (N.Y.), Pirrecca went on to take home MVP honors in the Under Armour All-American game. She’ll need to carve out a role on a loaded Florida team that still features Shannon Gilroy, but her talent will be tough to ignore.

Katy Pridemore - Liberty

This one may seem obvious, but Pridemore is one of the best women’s recruits out there. The Nike/US Lacrosse South Region Player of the Year out of Vero Beach (Fla.) originally committed to perennial NCAA tournament contender Florida but opted instead for Liberty, which is 21-64 since debuting in 2010. No doubt Pridemore can step in and contribute from day one.

Natalie Stefan - Penn

After helping propel Manhasset (N.Y.) to a No. 3 national ranking, Stefan will look to help the Quakers improve upon last season’s No. 20 national ranking. She’ll find her services very much in demand at Penn, which graduated leading scorer Tory Bensen, and will once again be in the battle atop the Ivy League.

Lydia Sutton - USC

The defensive-minded midfielder was considered by many to be the best prep lacrosse player in Minnesota history while at Blake. Sutton will now take her game to another up-and-coming hotbed, Southern California, where the Trojans would like to be contenders sooner rather than later.

Corinne Wessels - Northwestern

Alyssa Leonard is gone and so the Wildcats will have to replace one of the nation’s best collegiate playmakers. Luckily they have one of the nation’s best high school playmakers coming in. Wessels shattered the national assists record during her career at Osbourne Park (Va.). She’ll find plenty of scorers looking to finish her passes in Evanston.

Megan Whittle - Maryland

Whittle, the Nike/US Lacrosse National Player of the Year, is used to prematurely making an impact. She was the youngest player at the U.S. national team tryouts this year. The high-pressure situations will only continue when she arrives in College Park, where Cathy Reese loves to play freshmen and Whittle will reunite with former McDonogh (Md.) teammate Taylor Cummings.

Florida’s Shannon Gilroy - Crease Techniques.  (via Lacrosse Magazine @LacrosseMag ) 

Florida’s Shannon Gilroy - Crease Techniques.  (via Lacrosse Magazine @LacrosseMag ) 

2014 Girls Lacrosse State Champions - Sunshine State Games!!!  My @LaxManiax team crushed it this weekend.  Coach Trey, you rock!

10 Tips for High School Lacrosse Players

From the most awesome @officiallaxgirl (via Inside Lacrosse)

1. Wall ball is your friend.

If you want to improve your stick skills and your overall game, wall ball is your friend. I know your coach tells you that a lot and you might just shrug it off, but I promise you even 20 minutes a day will make your stick skills that much better. Crank up some music and give yourself the chance to improve your off hand, too! Here are some tips for wall ball.

2. Talk to your teammates.

You don’t have to be best friends with everyone on your team, but being friends and talking to each other really helps. Building a relationship off the field does wonders on the field — and you can relate when it’s time to complain about running!

3. It’s okay to get emotional.

Don’t let anyone tell you “it’s just a game” if you’re upset. You’re passionate about a sport and no one can take that away from you.

4. Push yourself.

You’ll feel so much better if you give it your all than just giving up. Saying “omg I can’t believe I did that” is so satisfying, and your coaches recognize your effort too!

5. Give it your all.

Play every game the same way: hard. Good things happen when you play hard and seeing your stats rise up is a fantastic feeling.

6. Talk to your coaches & listen.

If there’s a problem, don’t be afraid to approach your coach outside of practice and explain to them your situation. If you need assistance — they’re there to help you! Listen to them when they speak… they know what they’re talking about.

7. Work outside of practice, too.

This includes wall ball, watching tape, watching games on TV, attending clinics and camps, or playing club. Though some camps/clubs may be costly, lots of colleges hold day or multi-day clinics at a lower cost that really do help!

8. Welcome each position.

At some point, you’ll have to play defense on the field. If you’re usually a defender, you may have a fast break to goal. Your coach might approach you and say you’re needed in the midfield. Be versatile and be open to trying it out.

9. Ask questions. 

If you’re confused, ask someone for clarification. It’s better to know what’s going on than be completely confused, and even if you get teased about asking questions there’s usually someone with the same question who is just scared or nervous to ask.

10. Have FUN!

Enjoy all four years of your high school lacrosse experience. I’ll always remember team dinners and big wins, and all the personalities my teammates had that came together to create our big family. When it comes down to it, lacrosse is supposed to be enjoyed.