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 wasnt actively involved in any form of lacrosse. What can I say: my name is Sara Allen and Im an addict? Its 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 Ive 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 cant 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 didnt 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 wasnt 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. Well 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 cant 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 dont 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...
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