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!
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!
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.
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 wouldnt 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 hadnt 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
Although Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles have been struggling on the field this year, I still love them. Check out this video of McNabb getting involved in the JCPenney and the NFL's Take a Player to School Day. In each NFL city, a player is chosen to take a winning child to school for a part of the day. It looks like a lot of fun for everyone involved.
Last Saturday I kicked off my return to an active lifestyle by heading over to the San Diego Zoo for the Walk on the Wild Side 5k walk. I had yet to visit the world-renowned zoo so it was a great opportunity to experience a new place and kick off my active lifestyle, all in one day.
I was excited to start my new training and rehabilitation plan, but didnt realize how excited until the weekend of the Walk on the Wild Side. The night before the walk felt similar to a night before a game --maybe not to the same level, but I was definitely feeling the anticipation and energy. Saturday morning I woke up before my alarm and jumped out of bed, just like I did on game days in college. This is worth noting because I am the farthest thing from a morning person. I stretched and did some physical therapy exercises for my back for about 30 minutes. I never thought I would have to prepare my body for 30 minutes to walk three miles, but thats life. I left the house mentally and physically prepared to take on the days events.
The walk started on Zoo Drive, and took us on a unique trip before the zoo opened to the public. At the start, I laughed to myself thinking about how mentally focused and psyched up I was standing at the starting line. For the past five years Id been preparing myself that way and apparently I approached the walk in the same manner. No harm done, but definitely amusing considering the difference between a Division I college lacrosse game and a 5k walk around the zoo.
We walked past several different animal exhibits on our route, but my favorite was the panda bear exhibit. The San Diego Zoo has four pandas on-site, the largest population of pandas in the United States. Its hard to believe that these beautiful pandas are the most endangered bear species in the world. I was glad to hear that the Zoological Society continues to do its best to help the pandas and many other animals on the verge of extinction.
It was a great day and Im thrilled I had the chance to experience the San Diego Zoo by exercising and raising money for the Zoological Society. I am not sure what my next event will be at this point, but I am sure Ill treat it like a game day just like this one.
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.