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Archive for July 25, 2019

July 25, 2019 — A detente, perhaps?

A month from now, there is going to be a two-hour event held in Sparks, Md. at the home of U.S. Lacrosse.

It’s a small youth clinic, limited to about 100 people from the ages of 5 to 14, and it is meant to show the interrelation between lacrosse and field hockey.

The relationships between the two sports have been as deep as they are obvious. The sports came over from the United Kingdom, where their founders (Constance Applebee and Rosabelle Sinclair) were born. They were nurtured in part at single-sex schools; Applebee at Radcliffe College, Sinclair at Baltimore Bryn Mawr (Md.).

Over the years, the two sports have often been run as one. The same group of young women who play field hockey in fall are almost the exact same group that play spring lacrosse. You can still find uniforms with a team logo with two sticks crossed underneath it: one field hockey, and one lacrosse.

And, oddly enough, recent histories have paralleled each other. The end of Watertown (Mass.) 188-game unbeaten streak occurred in the same academic year that Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) saw its 198-game win streak snapped. The greatest dynasties of all time — McDonogh in lacrosse and Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) in field hockey — have been occurring in the last 20 years or so.

Individually, the two winningest coaches of all time — Kathy Jenkins of Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) and Susan Butz-Stavin of Emmaus (Pa.) earned their statuses in the same year, and are still currently atop their respective professions in terms of the number of victories.

Also, the most voluminous scorers of all time — Mackenzie Allessie, Austyn Cuneo, Meredith Sholder and Haley Schleicher in field hockey and Caitlyn Wurzburger, Sophia Turchetta, Corinne Wessels, and Taylor Pinzone — have had their scholastic playing careers this decade.

Yet, in this day of forced specialization and year-round play in just one sport, there’s a realization within national sports governing bodies that a player needs to participate in more than one athletic pursuit in order to battle burnout and to exercise different muscle and nerve groups.

An event like this is a great start.