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Jan. 3, 2020 — The 2010s: Ten who defined the decade

Presentation1The last decade saw a raft of changes in the game of girls’ and women’s lacrosse. These 10 people had a lot to do with how the game has changed since 2010:

10. Gary Gait. Despite the fact that the Syracuse Orange have yet to win a national championship, Gait keeps on finding ways to innovate. It’s because of him that umpires have to keep a binder of technical specifications at the scorer’s table for every legal women’s lacrosse stick manufactured. That way, umpires can quickly measure sticks for their legality. Gait also ventured into uncharted territory with recruiting, which we’ll touch on later.

9. Jenny Levy. North Carolina won two NCAA Division I championships, and may have been a substitution violation away from winning a third. She also coached the U.S. women’s national team with distinction, as the Stars and Stripes won the FIL World Cup as well as the subsequent World Games in 2017.

8. Acacia (Walker) Weinstein. The Boston College coach, as part of the Cindy Timchal coaching tree, blossomed greatly in Chestnut Hill, bringing the Eagles to three consecutive NCAA finals.

7. Cathy Reese. The Maryland coach won half of the Division I titles on offer during the 2010s, and could have won three more except for stupendous performances by North Carolina and Northwestern. The standard-bearer for all U.S. college coaches.

6. Taylor Cummings. The ultimate winner: she was undefeated as a scholastic player, won three Tewaaraton trophies as the best college player, had a couple of fine seasons with the New York Fight of the WPLL, won gold with Team USA, and just coached her alma mater, Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) to an undefeated season and the IAAM Class A title.

5. Steve Stenersen. The President of U.S. Lacrosse headed the FIL Blue Skies Working Group, which came out earlier this year with the trial rules for Olympic lacrosse — six-a-side, short field, and a hard boundary for shots on goal.

4. Kenzie Kent. After flashing into the Tewaaraton conversation in 2017 having played only the second half of the season, she helped Boston College into the national title match, as one of those kinds of players you couldn’t take your eyes off of. After that season, The Kenzie Kent Watch was on; she decided to play only ice hockey in 2018, then use her final year of eligibility to play on the women’s lacrosse team. Once she retook the pitch, she was unstoppable. She led the nation in scoring her senior year and helped her team to dominating form, which was only stopped by North Carolina in the ACC final and Maryland in the NCAA final.

3. Chris Robinson. The head coach at Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) has had a hand in two of the greatest winning streaks in the history of girls’ high school lacrosse. His sudden resignation in January 2018 led to all manner of speculation as to why, but his next coaching gig gives a pretty good reason. He took Orlando Highland Prep (Fla.) to the state championship in 2019.

2. Caitlyn Wurzburger. Outside of big-time basketball and track recruits, there has been more written about the activities of the senior attacking midfielder for Delray American Heritage (Fla.) than just about any other female scholastic athlete in the last 100 years. And it’s not just about her record-setting play, as she is likely to become the only scholastic player of either gender to have 500 goals and assist on 500 others in a varsity career (regardless of length). But because of her verbal commitment to Syracuse while in middle school, an entire section of NCAA recruiting rules has been revised several times in the last five years.

1. Digit Murphy. The founder of United Women’s Lacrosse brought forth the ideas that not only could there be a women’s lacrosse summer league where players are paid, it also introduced a rules package that was years ahead of its time. The possession clock, free movement, and short-sided play are amongst the quirks that have all found their way into FIL, NCAA, and, starting this spring, NFHS rules.

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