I jumped over to Villanova Stadium on Tuesday night to watch a womens lacrosse game between Villanova and the U.S. Naval Academy. I was excited to watch this game since it is Navys 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. Villanovas, 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!
I headed over to Albert/Daly Field last Friday night, which is right down the street from my parents 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! Its 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.
Towsons 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 games 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!
Im glad I caught the game and was able to get some good footage with interviews. Next, Im headed to Villanova Stadium to see Villanova play Navy Tuesday night.
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 wasnt sad to be a spectator like I expected, instead I was proud. Its 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. Its 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 wasnt 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 dont 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.
Richmond was dominating the beginning of the game, but Temple quickly came back and took the lead. I wasnt sure if the Spiders would be able to bounce back. Thats 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 Temples 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 Im looking forward to my next game Friday night when William & Mary takes on Towson at 7pm. Stay tuned!
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 Ive 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, Im 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 players 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 Murphys Premier Lacrosse Clinic. It was a wonderful weekend and Im already pondering when and where the next clinic will be. Good times!
Thanksgiving and football go hand in hand for me and every year I enjoy eating way too much and taking a seat next to my Dad on the couch for a day full of exciting football action. This Thanksgiving weekend I did just that and also attended the first round NCAA game between my alma mater, the University of Richmond Spiders, and the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. It was a great game as the Spiders ran through Eastern Kentucky, 31-14, to advance to the quarterfinals of NCAAs. I was excited to see some of my football friends doing so well and having their hard work pay off with a big win.
Tim Hightower, who is a Walter Payton Award finalist and a good friend of mine from school, worked extremely hard training this summer and has been having an amazing year as a result. I saw a huge difference in his agility, speed and strength as he carried for 180 yards and added a touchdown to the scoreboard. After hearing about him breaking records all year, it was great to finally see for myself how much of a difference his training has made in his game. Check out this link for the Tim Hightower Richmond Football page: University of Richmond Football: Tim Hightower
I am very thankful I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family back east and watch Richmond take out the competition in person. The No. 6 Spiders will be facing No. 11 Wofford next Saturday in Spartansburg, S.C. Good luck, Spiders!
Before diving into my blog about my life after college, Id like to set the scene a bit and introduce myself. So here is a short clip about where Ive been, where I am now, and where I plan on going.
I grew up in Radnor, Pennsylvania, as a very active kid. I participated in every sport under the sun. I loved being active and trying new things so my passion for all sports grew as I did. In high school, I played soccer, basketball and lacrosse, and also participated in other sports such as snowboarding, wakeboarding and tennis. I was recruited to play both soccer and lacrosse in college but chose to pursue lacrosse. It was evident right away that I had an amazing opportunity in front of me. I fell in love with the University of Richmond and spent the next five years of my life there.
So life was good. Everything was going smoothly until I got stick checked in the head at practice one day during the fall of my freshman year. This check resulted in my first concussion and would not be my last. One concussion led to another and eventually ended my lacrosse career.
In college I endured another injury: I herniated two discs in my back which led to other problems including a partially torn oblique muscle.
Since I received a medical red shirt my sophomore year, I took a fifth year but didnt want to risk my body anymore. Many of you are probably wondering what took me so long-- I wonder the same thing--but when sports are your life you will do almost anything to keep them from slipping away. My back was so messed up at this point that even if my head was normal I most likely still would not have been able to play.
I was on board as a student assistant coach for the year and although I struggled with not being able to play, I enjoyed teaching, strategizing and creating plays for the team. It ended up being a great experience and I was able to learn a lot about myself. I graduated in May 2007 with a great education, amazing friends and teammates, leadership experience as a three-year captain, coaching experience, three Atlantic 10 championships, three NCAA appearances, a No. 8 ranking at best and, unfortunately, a pretty damaged body.
A few months after graduation and the end of my Richmond lacrosse run, I moved out to San Diego to start working for the Active Network as an online community coordinator, which is where I am today. I plan on doing a lot in the next year, including coaching lacrosse, experiencing new sporting events, traveling and, most importantly, healing my body so I can go back to leading an active lifestyle. Stay tuned and join me on my journey as I begin life after college.