Random Thoughts: Lacrosse as a Team Game

Sports media tends to focus in on one or two players on a team and forget that most games involve teams. Coach Roy has noticed that the Northwestern Women's Lacrosse team may have a star player, but this year the wins have been a team effort...

The one thing that stands out as you read stories about other NCAA Women's Lacrosse teams...
Every one of them has a bone fide star player - someone who controls the ball on the attack, and who can be taken out of her game, at times effectively shutting down her team's scoring.

Northwestern has demonstrated that during their NCAA run - just look at the Tewaaraton finalists they've faced - and how those finalists played against NU's defense.
  • Duke's Katie Chrest - only 1 goal, one assist at NU
  • Princeton's Lindsey Biles - scored only 2 goals against the Cats.
  • Dartmouth's Katieanne Christian - only 2 goals, no assists last night.
The final game will again feature two of the finalists, NU's Kristen Kjellman and last year's winner, Virginia's Amy Appelt.

The apparent difference between Northwestern and some of the other LAX powers is that you don't seem to be able to slow down any one of NU's scorers and still count on winning.

NU might have one player [Kjellman] who is being seen as a star, but when teams slow down her game, two, sometimes 3 other girls step up and score - the name Sarah Albrecht, with 4 goals against Princeton, and 3 against Dartmouth immediately comes to mind. In the NCAA playoff run, Lindsey Munday led the scoring against Mount St. Mary's, and 4 different Cats scored against powerhouse Princeton.

It also takes team defense to shut down an opposing star's play, and Amy Appelt isn't the only weapon in the Virginia attack.

Five different Cavaliers scored last night, as they came back over Duke and won going away 15-13. The Duke team tried to be agressive, but Virginia won the draws at the end, controlling the ball - something the Koester twin leading Wildcat team also does very well.

Expect a big Virginia crowd for the final game - Annapolis is just a 3 hour ride up US 29 from UVA. NU has one of its largest alumni clubs in Washington - but Lacrosse is almost a religion in the ACC in the Spring. For some local UVA fans, this will be like church on Sunday.

By the way, the weather service is calling for showers over the game site through Sunday night - a wet track slows down a fast attack [like Virginia's], but personally, in this one, I'd rather count on Northwestern's Team Defense.

Go get 'em Ladies...
-- da Coach

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