I spent this past weekend with the LaxPower.com crew in Annapolis, Maryland for the All-Star Express tournament, the nations largest, most prestigious womens 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 girls 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 Im 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 girls run up and down the field in that type of heat, but I guess I did the same thing back in the day. When youre playing in front of an audience of college coaches you dont have time to worry about the weather you just play.
Its 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!
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!