TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

June 12, 2015 — Ending on top

This week, Laurie Kerr, the fine field hockey and girls’ lacrosse coach from Washington Warren Hills (N.J.), announced she would not be coaching either sport next year.

Kerr’s teams, especially on the hockey pitch, have been excellent during her 15 seasons at the helm. But the teams have also been somewhat star-crossed over time. The Blue Streaks, no matter how hard they tried, couldn’t win a state title. 

It wasn’t just the fact that Warren Hills would often have to play against good teams like Moorestown and Ocean City in the final, but Warren Hills would be victimized by a foot, a mistral, an umpire’s decision, or one of a number of outstanding plays.

I remember vividly the year that Amy Lewis of Moorestown took the ball up the left side of the field in overtime, went along the end line, and scored a nearly impossible goal to win the Group III title game in 2003.

But last fall, all of the heartache and pain was swept away when Warren Hills beat Ocean City in double-overtime to win the Group III championship. 

It was a crowning achievement, one which I thought was overdue for her. After all, Kerr is a fine coach, one who took the best elements of her players and formed good teams. 

I think one experience which have her a perspective was coaching a Pennsylvania Region Futures team to the U-19 gold medal. It was a team with current Team USA players Katie Reinprecht and Paige Selenski, who now represent Team USA at the World League semifinals.

It could be argued that with such a powerful team, anyone could have coached them to the gold. But Kerr isn’t just any coach.

She’s one who went out a winner in a state championship season. Not many can say that.

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