Random Thoughts: Has NU Lacrosse "Arrived?"

There's an ever lengthening list of awards and honors given to different members of the Northwestern Women's Lacrosse team., but daCoach askes, "is NU Lacrosse really up there with some of the old time programs?" And as one board poster suggested, NU Lacrosse just isn't getting any respect yet.

The Tewaaraton Awards was quite an eye opener...
I've been aware of the game of Lacrosse since I was a young kid - our high school had one of the better women's teams on Long Island, and we all knew growing up that Jimmy Brown - The Brown's premier running back - had also been a lacrosse star at Syracuse.

But the women's game in college was pretty much one of those "country club" sports that seemed to be played pretty much among the Ivy League type schools, and very few other colleges around the country. When Northwestern decided to join a few other midwest schools in adding [or was it reviving] Women's Lacrosse four years ago, I thought it was a pretty smart idea.

Getting a coach who had starred at Maryland was also pretty smart. Little did we know that our former Maryland star would transplant this Iroquois game on the north shore of Chicago and make it the best in the nation.
So NU is now the National Champ, but have all the honors placed the Wildcats among the sport's elite?

Leading up to the Tewaaraton Trophy Award ceremony, I did a lot of reading, and talked with a couple of the folks involved in selecting the winners. They were all impressed with NU's 4 year rise to the topof the NCAA, but you also got the impression that in some minds, we have a ways to go, even with all the All American/All Conference/etc players.

Now NU's Kristen Kjellman appeared to take her selection as a finalist as a indication that NU's program has arrived.
I was so happy representing...my team and school, [it showed] how hard we worked, and I think it was a good step.
And NU's Lacrosse Coach, Kelly Amonte-Hiller also noted that Lindsey Gersuk's winning the Geppi scholarship award was significant, and while she might have been disappointed that Kjellman didn't walk away with the big trophy, there's always next year.

Remember that NU fielded the only defense that actually stopped this year's Tewaaraton winner, Duke's Katie Chrest, in a game and even the elite teams have never had a repeat winner.

After the award ceremony, I mentioned to Kristen Kjellman that I had been told that it would be very hard for an underclassman to win the Tewaaraton, and asked her if that would become a challenge in the future.
"...There's always an incentive to do your best, so maybe next year or the year after I can win the award, that would be a goal of mine."
But winning another NCAA Championship would be "first on my list," and going back to back would also go a long way to putting NU's program up there with some of the nation's Elite programs, wouldn't it.
-- da Coach

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