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Sara's Life After College

2 Posts tagged with the starz-lacrosse tag

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.

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

1,068 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: games, coaching, women, lacrosse, high-school, coach, sara-allen, girls, starz-lacrosse, sd-rip, lax, play-day, game