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Sara's Life After College

19 Posts

Fightin' Phils History Lesson

Posted by saraallent Oct 22, 2008

 

In order to get my friends who are not from Philadelphia excited to watch Game One tonight I put together a little history for them, including facts about me and the Phils. I'm posting it here and sending it along to them so they can understand why the lunatic Philadelphia fans, myself included, are going absolutely nuts about are chances at winning the franchise's second World Series ever and the first Philadelphia pro sports championship since 1983 when the Sixers won it. I have never seen a Philadelphia team go all the way in my lifetime, but that will soon change.

 

Here goes...

 

- The age of the team combined with its history of adversity has earned them the distinction of having lost the most games of any team in the history of MLB.

- The Phillies have won one World Series championship...against Kansas City in 1980 and six National League pennants in their history.  

- Phillies were founded in 1883 and were originally called the Quakers. They then became the Philadelphians.  They officially became the Phillies in 1890.

- Won first pennant in 1915

- From 1918 to 1948 they had only one winning season. Ouch!

- William Cox bought the Phils in 1943 and they started to kill it, then it was revealed that Cox was betting on the Phils. Whoops. He was banned from baseball. So, the new owner Bob Carpenter, Jr. tried to improve the image of the Phillies by changing their name to the Blue Jays. Bad idea. The name didn’t stick and was dropped by 1949.

-  Thanks to the “Whiz Kids” (lead by future Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts) the Phils became good and popular forcing cross-town Athletics to peace out for Kansas City then Oakland. Good riddance!

- After a run of three straight division titles from 1976 to 1978, the Phillies won the NL East in 1980. I have a baseball signed by the whole 1978 Philadelphia Phillies team. My Dads bro somehow got it signed and gave it to me for my bday gift when I was like 12 or so cause I was really into the Phillies. Key players: Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa and Pete Rose. Hopefully my Mom hasn't thrown this out like she did my stellar baseball card collection which would have given me a nice chunk of change.

- Larry Bowa’s daughter, Tori, is friend's with Kristen and I've hung out with her. She's cool.

- Phils won the World Series in 1980…and that’s it.

- In 1991, Lenny Dykstra who was so legit and bad boyish crashed his red Mercedes into a tree on Darby-Paoli Road in RADNOR TOWNSHIP! For those of you who don't know, I'm from Radnor Township. “According to Radnor Township Police, Dykstra's blood alcohol content was 0.179 at the time of the crash.” He was on his way home from Kruk’s bachelor party. My favorite player Darren Daulton was sitting shotgun. I've hated Dykstra ever since cause he put the love of my life, Daulton, in harms way. Every time my dad drives past the site he points out the tree and says, “Dykstra’s tree” as if I haven't heard this a million times. There’s still a mark in the tree. Lesson: Don't drink and drive buddy! 

- Best season since was 1993 when they lost to the Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series. I attended game three at the Vet. Joe Carter’s family was sitting in the row behind us and another Blue Jay's family was sitting next to us. We got the tickets through a family friend who represented a couple of the Blue Jays. BTW, Joe Carter homered to win Game 4 and the series for the Blue Jays. Totally awkward, but well worth it.

- The Phils lost in game 4. 

- The strike in 1994 turned the city even more into an eagles town. Upside for me and my dad…cheap tickets…more games…and one of the highlights of my life...

- I threw out the first pitch for my birthday and threw it hard and in the strike zone. I got more applause then anyone else prob cause I was the only girl and puny. I couldn't throw it that well now.

- Every year John Connors (my best friend Kim’s dad) used to dress up as John Kruk in the thanksgiving parade. Legit everyone thought he was the real thing. Looked just like him.

- My favorite players come from this era when I loved baseball and the Phillies including Darren Daulton (who I later found out has numerous DUI’s and domestic violence charges against him...so I've dropped him since), Mickey Morandini (second base…the goods, had an unassisted triple play…big news), Mitch Williams (bad *** closer and totally that guy on the team), Kevin Stocker (I had his rookie card signed before my mom tossed my collection), Wes Chamberlain (hits the hell outta the ball) and John Kruk (out of shape, dirty, huge dipper, tar helmet…now he’s clean cut on ESPN…really has come along way). 

- In 2001, the Phillies had their first winning season in 8 years.

- In 2004, the Phillies moved from the Vet to Citizens Bank Park, which is big but not as homey. Phils fans miss the Vet. They do sell only local food and drinks and make a mean cheesesteak there and "the Schmitter" is a fan favorite. 

- "The Schmitter" which is apparently not named after Mike Schmidt - Kaiser roll, cheese, special sauce, tomatoes, grilled salami, fried onions and steak. You're going to need to eat this sitting and then sit for about 2 hours to digest. 

- Citizen's Bank Park actually has the most healthy vegetarian menu in pro sports also. Believe it or not.

- In 2007, the Phils lost their 10,000th game. Congrats! Very proud. That same season they won the east pennant but lost in the division series.

- In 2008, the Phils clinched their second straight division title and defeated the Brewers and Carrie's husband, pitcher for the Brewers Dave Bush, in the Division Series to record the franchise’s first post-season victory since the 1993 world series. Bush grew up a Phillies fan so he can't be all that mad...take one for the team buddy. Thanks to our on-point pitching and offensive production from MOST (not all…they’ll need to wake up tonight...I'm looking at you Howard) of the starting lineup, the Phils won the 2008 National League Championship Series against the LA Dodgers. Hamels was named MVP and asked me to marry him, even though he’s not single. 

- My favorite current player is Chase Utley. He's a genuine good guy and excellent leader on and off the field. He's young with a strong personality. Utley is seen in combination with Jimmy Rollins as one of the best middle-infield combinations in the NL. You'll see that tonight!

- Tonight, the Phils will win game one of the world series and Philadelphia will celebrate like they won the World Series...this will continue until they finally seal the deal. Be advised...fans went nuts and started a fire in the streets of West Chester last week after they beat LA to move on.  Be safe! 

 

Grab a Yuengling, TastyCake, soft pretzel, cheesesteak or whatever else you have around and starting chanting "Let's go Fightin' Phils! Woop woop!!

 

I hope you enjoyed my Philadelphia Phillies history lesson. Grab your jersey and let's make history!

1,548 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: baseball, major-league-baseball, mlb, sara, world-series, philadelphia, pro, active-sara, philadelphia-phillies, 2008-world-series

This past weekend I headed up to Boston for the Major League Lacrosse Championship. I have some friends that were playing for the championship and a bunch that met up to watch so it was a blast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend from San Diego, who is the goalie for the LA Riptide, was awarded the 2008 Warrior Goalkeeper of the Year award before the games began on Saturday. Commissioner David Gross. gave out the award which was based on votes submitted by the general managers and head coaches of the ten MLL teams. It is the first time that Jarboe has earned the award in his career. Congrats Mickey!

 

Side Note: Six of us can be seen below wearing our "Jarboe's #1 Fan" t-shirts. Yay! Everyone in the picture played lacrosse with me at the University of Richmond and Katie in the center is my best friend from San Diego and her boyfriend just so happens to be the one and only - Mickey Jarboe. The t-shirt was an embarassing surprise for her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can never say no to free tickets so "Jarboe's #1 Fan's" parked it right on the sidelines in the Budweiser beer tent to watch the game from the best seats in the house.

 

 

 

 

In the first semi-final game on Saturday, the Rochester Rattlers defeated the Philadelphia Barrage in OT, 16-15. Rochester Rattlers attackman Casey Powell scored the game-winning goal just 45 seconds into overtime to give the Rattlers their first-ever play-off victory.  The win also gave the Philadelphia Barrage their first-ever postseason loss after six straight prior to this year.

 

The second semi-final game, and the one I was looking forward to the most, was just as close as the first. Some of my good friends on the LA Riptide took a tough loss as they were defeated by the Denver Outlaws, 13-12. Denver Outlaws midfielder Jeff Sonke was on fire at the end of the game scoring the last four goals for the Outlaws, including a two-point goal with a couple minutes left to play, to give Denver the victory. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the LA Riptide guys were really disappointed by the outcome, they were still very grateful we were there, Mickey Jarboe especially, and were back in high spirits at the tailgate after the game. 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, the Rochester Rattlers won their first Major League Lacrosse title by defeating the Denver Outlaws with a 16-6 score. The semi-final games on Saturday were definitely way more exciting.  Midfielder Joe Walters was named as the Bud Light Championship Weekend MVP after scoring six goals with five assists in the two games. He scored two goals with two assists in the championship game.

 

For more information check out the Major League Lacrosse website.

1,238 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: denver, lacrosse, boston, philadelphia, pro, mll, la, major-league-lacrosse, pro-lacrosse, championship-weekend, rochester

"I'm feelin' HOT, HOT, HOT!"

Posted by saraallent Jul 23, 2008

I spent this past weekend with the LaxPower.com crew in Annapolis, Maryland for the All-Star Express tournament, the nation’s largest, most prestigious women’s lacrosse tournament in the country.  The tournament was first held in 1993 and quickly became the largest recruiting showcase in the country.  Each year there are around 5,000 girl’s lacrosse players representing 250 teams who all play in front of a crowd of fans and college coaches.

 

I would say the majority of the college coaches were present and have been since the tournament started. All-Star Express was a very useful recruiting tool for me back in 1999-2000 when I played in it as I’m sure it still is today for many players.

 

It was just as hot as I remember with temperatures maxing out around 100 degrees on some days. I have no idea how the girl’s run up and down the field in that type of heat, but I guess I did the same thing back in the day. When you’re playing in front of an audience of college coaches you don’t have time to worry about the weather – you just play.

 

It’s really fun going to these tournaments because I get to see so many formers college players and current coaches who I have known throughout the years and it is always interesting to find out one of the high school players standing in front of you goes to the high school you attended, which happened to me twice. 

 

I spent most of the weekend in the LaxPower.com tent answering questions, handing out giveaways, doing interviews and informing people about the most popular lacrosse website in the world.  The majority of the lacrosse community uses the site or has an idea of what it is so mostly we were there to support the sport of lacrosse and stay involved whether it be talking to people or collecting content for the site.

 

DeBeer, which is one of the best lacrosse companies out there, had a tent next to ours at the National Draw a couple weeks ago and we were neighbors again at All-Star Express. They ran a lacrosse bingo scavenger hunt that many of the teams at the tournament participated in and one of their missions for the game was to put as many LaxPower.com stickers on their goalies helmet as possible.  It got a bit insane as you can see below. That is a picture of a team and their goalie, who was covered head to toe in LaxPower.com stickers. The ended up winning brand new deBeer sticks for their whole team. You go girls!

 

 

 

 

 

1,065 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: sports, lacrosse, sara-allen, laxpower.com, active-sara, team-sports, girl's, girl's-lacrosse

NCAA Record...Broken.

Posted by saraallent Apr 29, 2008

I jumped over to Villanova Stadium on Tuesday night to watch a women’s lacrosse game between Villanova and the U.S. Naval Academy. I was excited to watch this game since it is Navy’s first year as a D-1 program and I expected them to be good considering they have an all-star coaching staff lead by former University of Maryland coach Cindy Timchal.

 

I was not disappointed as Erin Rawlick scored seven goals to lead the U.S. Naval Academy to a 19-8 victory over the Villanova Wildcats. Navy improves to 13-3 with the triumph while the `Cats drop to 4-12 on the campaign. The Mids broke the NCAA record for wins by a first-year program with 13. The old record of 12, held by North Carolina in 1996. I love hearing and seeing records being broken.

 

Highlights from the game:

 

 








Navy seized the early edge with two goals in the first 3 minutes of the contest. Katrina Nietsch fired a shot past Wildcat goalie Maggie Langan and Rawlick then scored her first goal a minute later. But Villanova answered with a Taryn McKenna goal – of an assist from freshman Mia Naccarato - and one from the stick of junior Katie Stone to even things at two.

However, the Mids grabbed the lead for good at the 21 minute mark when Rawlick scored on a free position shot. Next, Mary Ruttum, Nietsch and Meg Decker added goals for Navy. Villanova’s, Stone scored her second goal of the contest of a feed from freshman Nora Wallace tot narrow the gap to 6-3.

Navy scored three more times while Villanova tallied just once over the final 10 minutes of the first half due to some great defense by the Mids. The half ended with the score of 9-4 in favor of the Mids.

Rawlick picked up two more goals to extend the lead to 11-4 early in the second half before McKenna got one back for the Wildcats to make it 11-5. Rawlick then scored two more and Amanda Towey added another to push the Navy advantage to 14-5 with 21 minutes left in the game. Wallace notched an unassisted goal on a long run off a draw control for Villanova. Samantha McKillip and McKenna rounded out the Villanova scoring.

The final score was 19-8 in favor of the Mids. Navy owned a 38-14 edge in shots on the night. Langan made three saves in net for Villanova while Natalie Blandon made three in net for Navy.






Erin Rawlick was in a zone on Tuesday evening. The Navy sophomore scored seven goals for the Mids. Watch as she discusses the secrets to her success on the field.










Meg Decker continued to light up the scoreboard as the Freshman notched her 13th hat trick in a row. Watch as she explains why Navy was successful and what's it is like to be a freshman on the team.










Freshman Katrina Nietsch scored four points, including three goals in the win. Watch as she talks about her success and the Navy's victory.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure what game I will be at next, but stay tuned for more action!

1,148 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: video, sports, ncaa, women, college, lacrosse, sara-allen, life-after-college, laxpower, navy, lax, active-sara, maryland, villanova, pennsylvania, team-sports

Who doesn't love an upset?

Posted by saraallent Apr 25, 2008

I headed over to Albert/Daly Field last Friday night, which is right down the street from my parent’s house in Virginia, to watch William & Mary play conference rival and 15th-ranked Towson University.  We used to play both of these teams every year so I was eager to see how they were doing in 2008. William & Mary was able to hold on to the lead to beat Towson, 14-13. It was a great game! It’s always fun to see an upset.

 

 

 

 






Towson started things off and got a quick 2-0 lead as Fratzke collected a pair of goals before the game was even three minutes old. The Tribe quickly responded as Grace Golden scored two unassisted goals, bringing the game even at the 23:52 mark. Less than a minute later, Jamie Sellers broke the deadlock with a goal at 22:12, but her work was short-lived, as Towson pieced together a pair of free position goals, less than a minute apart, to regain the advantage, 4-3.

Five minutes later Clare Dennis scored to bring the Tribe even at 4-4. William & Mary freshman Ashley Holofcener threaded a perfect feed to Dennis, moving the Tribe out to a 5-4 lead. The Tribe would score again off a take from Sellars. Golden stretched the lead to 7-4, when she found her way to the cage at 9:36.

Towson’s McNamara scored at 7:05, but William & Mary quickly answered back with goals from Julia Martin and Katie Rees to rebuild the lead to 9-5. Sensing it needed to find some rhythm before halftime, the Tigers attack turned up the heat over the remainder of the half, firing off some point blank attempts that Geary turned away. Finally, with just :19 remaining, McNamara found an opening and got the ball over goal line and sent the two teams to half with the score at 9-6.

In the second half, William and Mary pushed its lead to 11-6, with goals from Sellers and Holofcener. Despite a pair of goals by Fratzke at 19:12 and 18:32, William & Mary seemed to remain in complete control of the action. Dennis and freshman attacker Maggie Anderson each turned in lightening strikes, to bring the game to 13-8.

However, Towson rallied back tightening up the game at 13-11 with 9:50 to play. Sellers made the Tigers’ pay with a goal to put the game at 14-11. Towson scored the game’s final two goals and put relentless pressure till the final seconds.

Here is one of my interviews with William & Mary goalie, Emily Geary. She had a great game and you can definitely tell in the interview how excited she was about the win. I also found out that Geary and I went to the same high school and played for the same coach. Small world!



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m glad I caught the game and was able to get some good footage with interviews.  Next, I’m headed to Villanova Stadium to see Villanova play Navy Tuesday night.

1,296 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, college, lacrosse, virginia

Walking Buddy

Posted by saraallent Apr 24, 2008

Since I have been back east I acquired a new walking buddy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet my new puppy, Joey! He’s an 18 week old Morkie (Maltese and Yorkie) and is a ball full of energy. I walk him two times a day for a couple blocks at a time. He only weighs five pounds so we aren’t walking for long periods of time, but it’s a good addition to gym workouts.  When he isn't running around playing with toys, he's sleeping. Being a dog is tough!

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Same Place...New Role

Posted by saraallent Apr 17, 2008

Last Sunday I headed over to my old stomping ground, the University of Richmond, to watch my college team take on the Temple Owls. I spent five years on that field, four as a player and one as a coach, but I had never been there as a spectator. 

 

Over the years, I had faced Temple in five battles in regular season and three in post season tournament play. Now as my former team warmed up to play in one of the most important games of the year, I sat in the stands watching and soaking up every minute.

 

It was an interesting feeling. I wasn’t sad to be a spectator like I expected, instead I was proud.  It’s a good feeling to see a program you helped build carrying on many of the same traditions you helped start. I have countless memories on that field, enough to last me a long time. It’s nice to watch without the weight on your shoulders. On Sunday, I was simply a fan of Richmond Spiders Lacrosse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture taken by John Townsend

 

 

 

Well, almost just a fan. Since I wasn’t used to being still and quite during the game, I kept myself busy doing some video for LaxPower. During the game I captured game footage to make a highlight video.  I don’t have a lot of experience with video so I really had to focus on what I was doing. The game looks a lot different from behind the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LaxPower Video:







Richmond was dominating the beginning of the game, but Temple quickly came back and took the lead. I wasn’t sure if the Spiders would be able to bounce back. That’s when things got exciting!

The beginning of the second half was all Owls as they put in four unanswered goals to get a head of the Spiders, 7-4 with 21:52 remaining in regulation. The teams went back and forth until the Spiders sparked a come back run with three goals in under two minutes.

Mandy Friend started it off taking the ball herself and hitting the upper right corner for her second goal of the game. Thirty-seconds later, Furstenburg got involved with an unassisted goal of her own. Friend then scored her third goal of the day to tie the game at nine with three minutes left to play.

Two minutes later, Richmond was put back on its heels once again as Temple’s Chelsea Rosiek scored off a free-position to put the Owls up, 10-9.

With just over thirty-seconds to play, a Temple foul sent freshman Anne Ryan to the eight-meter. Ryan zoomed the ball into the net to tie the game at 10 and send the game into overtime.

After the first three minutes of overtime, the score remained 10-10. With just over thirty seconds left to play in the first overtime period, Claire Cunniff took an isolation, beating three Temple defenders to put the Spiders up, 11-10. Richmond would go on to win the game over conference-rival Temple.

After the game I took an interview with Cunniff, a former teammate of mine, and the attacker who scored the game winning goal in OT to beat Temple.





Interview with Claire Cunniff:

 

 

 

 

 

It was a fun experience and I’m looking forward to my next game Friday night when William & Mary takes on Towson at 7pm. Stay tuned!

1,096 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, college, lacrosse, virginia, sara-allen, philadephia, richmond, life-after-college, laxpower, laxpower.com, active-sara, pennsylvania, univeristy-of-richmond, temple

Advice: Choosing a Camp

Posted by saraallent Jan 29, 2008

There are camps for all different levels and it is sometimes not clear what the level of the camp is right away. The camp experience can vary from a sport daycare camp to a full on elite college recruiting camp so finding the one that is appropriate for your son or daughter is important especially with the high cost of camps these days.

 

That being said, if you are on the less serious end of the camp spectrum look for a beginner camp that emphasizes learning the basics in a fun and positive environment. These camps are often held at a local school or recreation facility. This type of camp should not break your bank so watch out for camps asking a fortune.

 

The amount of money you are willing to pay for a camp should go up with the level of coaching you expect to receive for your son or daughter so keep that in mind. Therefore, if your son or daughter has a good grasp on the basics or is simply a good athlete, an intermediate camp would be the right fit and you should expect the price to rise a bit. The same goes for an advanced camp. The price will go up.

 

Also, keep in mind that, no matter which level of camp you choose, there might be varying skill level groups within that camp based on the forms that you fill out when registering for the camp. Your son or daughter maybe put in the lower group because of their age, but he or she may have the experience level of kids in the upper level groups. Counselors often try and fix these problems within the first day, but if you feel that your child is getting too much information or too little information don’t be afraid to ask for him or her to be moved up or down to a different group.

 

Lastly, if your son or daughter is looking to play a specific sport in college there are two main camps to decide between and I suggest going to both if you can manage it financially. These camps are usually the most expensive, but if your son or daughter can get a scholarship out of attending it will definitely pay off in the long run.

 

The first is a camp specifically for recruiting. These camps offer very little instruction, but offer a great opportunity to show your skills in a game setting. The sole purpose of these camps is to be seen by college coaches and provide a setting for those coaches to see a large group of athletes in one place at one time. Since these camps are expensive, make sure there will be college coaches actually attending. My advice is to ask around about the camp before registering and also to call the camp and ask for a CURRENT list of coaches attending the camp. College coaches are very busy and their schedules can change so the list of coaches on the camp brochure may not be the same as the list of coaches present on the actual day of camp. Also, if your son or daughter is interested in a specific school, make sure they email the coach to let the coach know of their interest in the school and the camps and tournaments they will be attending.

 

The second type of camp is a college specific camp. If your son or daughter is interested in attending the University of Maryland or Holy Cross, sign them up for their camp. The majority of colleges offer their own camps and this is a great way to be seen and show the coach you are really interested. I worked the camp at my college for 5 years and each year we brought on at least one girl to the team who had attended camp. Also, if you are on the college campus the coach is able to speak with your son or daughter, unlike situations outside of campus, due to NCAA rules. This provides a great advantage to your son or daughter. It is also never a bad idea to get to know the school you are interested in a little better by spending some quality time there and many camps offer campus and sport facility tours to campers.

 

I have one last piece of advice for you if your son or daughter is looking to play in college and attend one of these camps. Remind them that coaches are not only going to be looking for how they react on the field, but they are also going to be looking for how they react off the field. I can’t even tell you how many kids I have seen blow their chance by goofing off with friends or showing up late. It is really important to show your best self, not only on the field, but off the field.

 

As you can see there is a wide variety of camps to choose from and it’s important to pick the right one for your son or daughter and for the right price. You want your son or daughter to get the most out of their camp experience so remember to do some research and don’t be afraid to ask for them to be moved up or down once they are there. Good luck at camp. It's a great experience and one everyone should enjoy.

1,189 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: beginner, camp, lacrosse, sara-allen, lax, advanced, active-sara, sara's-life-after-college

My Mom was in town last weekend so we decided to head over to Escondido to check out the Wild Animal Park.  It was a really cool experience. The main purpose of the park is to give the animals a natural habitat to live and reproduce outside of the San Diego Zoo. The parks existence has helped many animals from becoming extinct and has served as an excellent resource for animal research.

 

You have several options once inside the park depending on the experience you are looking for and the amount of money you want to spend. We opted for the best value tickets which included a Journey into Africa tour ride.  The tour was an amazing expedition into some of the field exhibits, allowing us the chance to see the animals on a closer level. I was surprised to see such diverse animals living side by side in the same exhibits.  Furthermore, I was even more surprised to see their predators lurking in exhibits adjacent to them.  The tour guide explained to us that many of the animals are released back into the wild so in order to keep them alert, they have their predators just close enough to smell. In the slide show you can see the different animals co-existing, which is unlike what you see at the majority of zoos.

 

 

 

 

The Wild Animal Park was a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend it.  For more information about the park visit San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park.

1,128 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: travel, sara-allen, san-diego-zoo, san-diego, active-sara, sara's-life-after-college, wild-animal-park, escondido

Life has been really busy recently with work and numerous lacrosse obligations I have undertaken.  Unfortunately, my plan for healing my back and getting back into shape has suffered because of it.  After realizing my lapse this weekend, I decided to jump back on the bandwagon. The article, Yoga Therapy for Athletes, made me realize yoga was going to be the tool to get me back to an active lifestyle. So, I roped my friend and former teammate, Kristy, into going to hot yoga with me on Monday night.

 

It seemed innocent enough and I figured the heat would be great for my extremely tight muscles. Well, the heat was good for my muscles, but it came with a price. I don’t even know if I can explain the intensity of the heat in this room.  In the first ten minutes, while going through some postural awareness and breathing exercises, I caught my mind pondering over an escape route. One look at Kristy and I broke down laughing, knowing very well she was thinking the same thing. I pulled myself together and mouthed to Kristy with a smirk, “Don’t let hot yoga girl beat you”.  This expression was first said by our coach in college, Sue Murphy, who threatened us all before going into a kick boxing class that, “if we let Aerobic Girl beat us we would surely regret it”. That being said, Hot Yoga Girl could crank the heat up as high as she wanted and we were going to melt into the floor before we walked out of that door.

 

The instructor, Cindy aka Hot Yoga Girl, guided us through some deep breathing exercises before taking us through the different poses and stretches. I warned Cindy that I was rehabbing some pretty serious abdominal, back, and hip injuries before we started so she gave me so alternative options just in case.

 

When the class ended Kristy and I thanked Cindy, peeled ourselves off the mats, and dragged ourselves out the door to the outside air we had been longing for. I’m not sure if I was in any state to drive, but somehow we ended up at Denny’s.  Yes, I realize this isn’t the healthiest option, especially not after what we just went through to get healthy, but we both felt so drained that we needed to replenish. Naturally, two Grand Slam breakfasts, several pitchers of water later, clean plates were the only thing left.

 

After arriving back at the house we discussed the day’s events and came to the conclusion that although hot yoga was way more intense than we ever imagined, we would return. Besides feeling absolutely drained, our bodies felt great. My muscles felt stronger and more flexible. The benefits of yoga are incredible and the heat, although somewhat painful, just takes some getting used to.  We will be returning later this week for round two! Oh and we will not be going to Denny’s this time.

 

 

 

This is not me in the picture, but this pose is great. It really helped me stretch out my abs, hips, and quads.

1,543 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: water, hydration, yoga, sara-allen, exercises, active-sara, hot-yoga, sara's-life-after-college, breathing

Adrenaline Challenge

Posted by saraallent Jan 17, 2008

 

 

 

This past weekend I brought my club team, SD Rip Elite, to the Adrenaline Challenge lacrosse tournament in San Diego. I had never been so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but I was thoroughly impressed with the level of competition and how smoothly the tournament went.  The tournament is used as a recruiting tool, a sort of showcase for high school level players, both girls and boys, to show off for the college coaches.

Lauren Dachille and me!

 

 

 

 

 

We had our first game at 9am Saturday morning against a team from the Bay Area called BearLax.  The game went really well, in fact we had to make the girls stall a bit so the score wouldn’t get too out of hand. It’s good and bad to start off a tournament with such a big win though; it can work in your favor and give you confidence or it can boost your ego too much making you lose your focus. Thankfully, it worked in our favor.  The girls played really hard the entire game and won big in our next two games against the LaxDawg Royal and ATX too.  Not only were they playing well individually, but their teamwork was what won the games.

SD Rip Elite

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning was our first true test as we went up against Element 5 Elite, who just so happens to be coached by two of my best friends out here Kristy Gallagher and Dana Cappello.  We ended up losing 9-2, which really dropped the spirits of the girls. We played sloppy and were inconsistent. The game however, was a great learning tool. It’s great to win games, but you’ll never learn anything unless your tested by some serious competition and tested we were. So we went over our weaknesses and were able to find some strength in what was a pretty ugly game.  Once we evaluated our performance we were able to move on with the day, looking forward to better play.

Element 5 Elite Coaches Kristy Gallagher and Dana Cappello

 

 

 

 

 

The next two games went well as we beat QC Elite and then LaxDawgs Elite to advance to the finals. Naturally, Element 5 Elite was in the finals, the only team we had lost to the entire weekend. The girls had learned a lot by playing them the first time so we went in more prepared than we had the first time around. The first half turned out to be pretty tough; they were killing us on the fast break, scoring almost every time down the field.  If we were able to slow them down and play settled defense we were fine, but we were only able to get them out of their rhythm on occasion.  They held possession most of the time so we were given very few opportunities in our attacking end.  The score was 8-2 at half and it was time to make some changes.

Element 5 Elite at Half

 

 

 

 

 

The first priority for the second half was to slow down their fast break, allowing us more time with the ball and to play defense.  That being said, I decided to concede in the midfield. This is a strategy we used at Richmond in similar situations.  I’m pretty sure the girls had never seen or heard anything like this before, but I felt like it was are only chance so I quickly explained the tactic as best I could. Instead of our defenders marking up their girls, we would let them go no matter where we were on the field. We would allow them to catch the ball in the midfield while our defenders dropped back into our defensive end as quickly as possible. Our midfielders running in behind the primary defenders would be in charge of slowing the ball down in the midfield if possible while sprinting into the defense. This takes away any chance Element 5 would have with their fast break. We didn’t have time to make any other changes so the attack had to be creative with the opportunities they had.

Coach Jen Cielewich Watching the Finals

 

 

 

 

 

The plan worked and we forced Element 5 to play settled ball with no fast break option.  They only scored one goal in the second half.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to score enough to win, but we did win in the second half.  The final score was 9-6.  The girls were disappointed about losing, but I think they were excited about what they were able to achieve in the second half.  It was a huge learning experience for the girls.  They listened to what we taught them at halftime and were able to apply it against a really solid opponent.

 

I’m excited about practice on Sunday and can’t wait to fix some weak points in our game; that way we will be better prepared for our next tournament coming up in the last weekend of January. I’m really enjoying coaching these girls.  I am so proud of them for being so coachable and passionate about the game.  It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. They truly are a great team.

957 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: recruiting, lacrosse, sara-allen, tournament, starz-lacrosse, sd-rip, active-sara, adrenaline-challenge, adrenaline

Spiders in San Diego

Posted by saraallent Jan 14, 2008

In between graduation and moving out to San Diego I ran numerous clinics with my former coach from the University of Richmond, Sue Murphy, and several of my teammates. As I’ve said before, my summer was jam packed with lacrosse mostly because of these clinics. We held clinics in Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and New York and every stop was a great time.  After spending my entire summer on the road, I let Sue know my time as Assistant Camp Director was done until I received a call a couple months ago and what do you know, I’m back on board for one more clinic with Premier Lacrosse but this time Sue was coming to me.  I am the youngest of a Richmond lax crew that lives and coaches lacrosse in San Diego so we rounded up the troops and planned a big reunion weekend.

 

On Thursday, Sue and her assistant coach, Allison Nuzzi, who also serves as one of my best friends, were welcomed to San Diego by six former Spiders and the fun started from there. My teammates and I are like sisters and when you put two of us, let alone seven of us, in one place you are destined for a good time and lots of trips down memory lane. So the seven of us and our former coach took San Diego by storm. We went hiking, shopping, site seeing, dabbled in the night life a bit, and of course ran a coaches and players clinic.

 

Both clinics were a huge success despite the buckets of rain that poured down on us from the minute we stepped on the field. I, of course, confidently told our east coast visitors that it never rains in San Diego and boy was I wrong. A little rain never hurt anybody though and thankfully both the coaches and players were troopers through it all. I was hoping to get some pictures and footage of the clinic, but being that I was ringing out my clothing I am pretty sure my camera would not have survived, so I apologize for that.

 

We had about 15 coaches for the 90 players that signed up for the clinic, which was great.  The coaches’ clinic ran from 9-12 a.m. filled with discussion on drills, philosophies and strategies.  The player’s clinic ran from 1-5 p.m., four hours filled with instruction, play and demos by the staff.  Each Richmond alumni was in charge of a group of about 15 girls for station work.  We taught the girls everything we could in the amount of time we were allotted and from the response we received it seemed as though every player learned a lot. It was helpful that we had so many staff members on the same page seeing as though we played for the same coach at the same program for years.  In between coaching sessions we brought everyone to one cage where the staff would put on a demo showing what we were going to teach next. Needless to say, we all loved playing together again, so much so that Sue had to pretty much drag us out of the demo and force us back to our stations.  As much as we enjoyed doing demos though, it was also really helpful for the players to watch the skills we were teaching before attempting them for themselves.

 

All in all, a lot was learned without fun being spared by the players, coaches, and staff involved in Sue Murphy’s Premier Lacrosse Clinic.  It was a wonderful weekend and I’m already pondering when and where the next clinic will be. Good times! 

 

Spiders in San Diego: 

Kristy Gallagher - UR '03 - Poway H.S. & E5 Lacrosse Coach 

Katie Dolan - UR '03 - La Costa Canyon H.S. & SD Rip Lacrosse Coach

Jen Cielewich - UR '04 - Bishop's H.S. & E5 Lacrosse Coach

Amanda Bourquin - UR '04 - Torrey Pines H.S. & E5 Lacrosse Coach

Libby Berlacher - UR '04 

Allison Nuzzi - UR '06 - University of Richmond Assistant Coach

Sara Allen - UR '07 (5th year) - SD Rip Lacrosse Coach

Sue Murphy - University of Richmond Head Coach

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Black's Beach

Posted by saraallent Dec 7, 2007

Here are some pictures a friend of mine took from Black's Beach Wednesday. This weeks breakers were the result of a storm center thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean and West Coast beaches have been crowded ever since.

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Lights Out

Posted by saraallent Dec 7, 2007

Everything was normal about Wednesday until I found myself sitting in the dark with my eyes fixated on a black screen and my hands frozen on the keyboard. I turned around to find Toby and Geoff with similar looks of, “Did I do that?” written on their faces. So we waited, as if God was going to tell us what happened, but instead Bob, who runs the building, came around announcing that the power was out and wouldn’t be back on until after 5 p.m. It just so happens that Wednesday also brought the biggest waves San Diego had seen in a while. So I said goodbye to my dark office and high-tailed it over to Torrey Pines State Reserve to check out the waves and go hiking.

I hadn’t been to Torrey Pines State Reserve in two years, so I was excited about my excursion. After parking the car in the crowded lot, which was full of people checking out the waves themselves, I trekked up the hill into the park. I decided to venture through the North Grove Guy Fleming Trail, a 2/3-mile loop with ocean vistas, sandstone formations and great scenery. The trail wound around to the ocean where I took lots of pictures of the crashing waves from an aerial view. I finished up my hike and headed back down to the beach and, luckily, was in time for a gorgeous sunset. I sat on a bench and snapped some pictures as the sun went down. This is why I love San Diego.

 

Check out the video of my Wednesday afternoon excursion.

 

 

Dig this video? Make your own or view others at Active Video

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Starz Lacrosse Play Day

Posted by saraallent Dec 5, 2007

After a summer jam-packed with lacrosse camps and clinics, I swore I was going to take a break from the sport for a bit when I arrived in California. As it turns out, that break consisted of a nine-day stretch in October where I wasn’t actively involved in any form of lacrosse. What can I say: my name is Sara Allen and I’m an addict? It’s possible. I do really enjoy giving back to the sport that gave me so much, though, so when the opportunity to coach the SD Rip Elite team for Starz Lacrosse presented itself, I took it.

 

There are two SD Rip teams, Elite and Developmental, which are made up of the top high school lacrosse players throughout the greater San Diego area. Most of the players have aspirations to play at the college level so our mission is not only to develop and train them as players, but also to get them recruited and ready to play on the next level.

 

After several weeks of practice we had our first test in the Starz Lacrosse play day at Rancho Bernardo High School. Our first game against Quad Cities Elite team went well and we dominated most of the game. The girls gave me a bit of scare at the end when Quad Cities Elite went on a run and scored three unanswered goals to pull within three, 12-9, with five minutes left in the game--an interesting situation, but one I’ve been in as both a player and a coach many times before. Since the Quad Cities Elite team had the momentum with so little time left, I had to make sure the girls kept composure and possession for as long as possible. In order to do that, winning the draw was necessary. Therefore, I strategically placed our fastest and scrappiest girls on the circle to ensure we maintained possession and moved the ball into our offensive end.  Once in our offensive end the game plan was to work the ball around the outside several times, which would waste time off the clock and allow us to gain confidence before attacking the net. After all, if we have possession of the ball the other team can’t score. The plan worked and we ended up winning 13-9. Phew!

 

We had 10 minutes to regroup before our next game against the Lax Dawgs Elite team and unfortunately, 10 minutes didn’t seem to be enough time for us to regain our strength and energy.  The first half was pretty ugly and we were down by 6 goals at half time.  After a long talk at half time, we took the field with a passion to play, which we lacked in the first half.  We scored two unanswered goals in the first five minutes and started to play well together again. Our passes were crisp and accurate, and we came up with several big game-changing plays. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to come back and we ended up losing by 1 goal.  I was proud of the girls though; they played their hearts out in the second half and were very close to pulling off a great comeback win. We’ll get them next time!

 

I was really impressed with how coachable the girls were this weekend and how much heart they showed. I had such a great time coaching them and can’t wait to get back to practice this week. Who needs breaks from lacrosse anyway?

 

A funny side note: After the games, a few of the girls were talking about coaching middle school lacrosse and how they wanted to be “cool” coaches that their players would look up to.  I overheard them and put in my two cents – be passionate and believe in what you do and say, but most importantly, invest in a great pair of sunglasses and wear them at all times. I don’t know about other sports, but I do know that lacrosse coaches wear their sunglasses no matter what the weather and will never leave home without them. I am one of them.

 

Here is a video from the SD Rip Developmental team game...

 

Make your own and view other videos by visiting Active Video

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on Starz Lacrosse teams and for registration info please visit Starz Lacrosse Club :: California, Arizona, Seattle, Texas and more!

 

 

 

 

 

1,084 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: games, coaching, women, lacrosse, high-school, coach, sara-allen, girls, starz-lacrosse, sd-rip, lax, play-day, game
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saraallent

saraallent

Member since: Oct 2, 2007

Sara's Life After College is a blog that will follow my life after graduation from college and from life as a student athlete. Stay tuned and join me on my journey as I begin ?life after college.?

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