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Archive for January 7, 2020

Jan. 7, 2020 — The 2010s: The 10 who will define lacrosse the next decade

Presentation1Understanding that there might be an eighth-grader today who will be a senior in college by 2029, this list is pretty much an exercise in throwing darts. Let’s hope the impacts these figures make are positive:

10. Gussie Johns. The goalie for the U.S. women’s national team is set to change the way that the position is played, but also taught, both at the collegiate level and at the youth level. When (and not if) she takes a collegiate head-coaching position, she’s going to be a difference-maker.

9. Tim Godby. The head coach of Milton (Ga.) should be a top candidate for any of the new U.S. college programs sure to crop up in the Sun Belt during the 2020s.

8. Jason Levesque. The former Canisius assistant was installed as the head coach for Bradenton IMG Academy (Fla.) over the summer, and, as such, now takes on the role of the only “superprep” girls’ lacrosse team in the United States, playing a challenging national schedule.

7. Taylor Cummings. The three-time Tewaaraton trophy winner is going to have an influence in the sport, no matter whether she stays at Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) or moves to another coaching position. I also think she has another couple of world tournaments in her — maybe Los Angeles 2028?

6. Michelle DeJuliis. The commissioner of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League is now the influencer as to what post-collegiate women’s lacrosse is going to look like, and I think it will be interesting to see if it conflicts with what is happening with U.S. Lacrosse and the “Olympic rules” package.

5. Caitlyn Wurzburger. Unfair or not, she’s going to have expectations placed on her like nobody else, even players like Taylor Cummings and Megan Whittle. I think she’s going to have a tremendous impact wherever she goes. I wonder what any future pro league will look like with her later in the 2020s.

4. Devon Wills. The former U.S. women’s national team coach has assembled a take-no-prisoners coaching staff at Harvard including the likes of Kenzie Kent, Becca Block, and Mira Shane, and I think she’s going to change the way the game is coached.

3. Hannah Neilsen. The former Northwestern star is pulling the Michigan program from “potential” to “production.” I have a feeling that she’s going to make for a few sleepless nights for coaches in the rest of the Big Ten, if not nationally.

2. Ann Kitt Carpenetti. The vice-president of operations of U.S. Lacrosse has been fighting a battle with some in the sport in terms of the introduction of mandatory helmets. The regrettable thing is that, even with the possible unification of rules for the Olympics, headwear is going to be the focus of discussion between now and Los Angeles 2028 rather than the product on the pitch.

1. Paul Rabil. The former Johns Hopkins star managed to assemble a cadre of investors and backing for the Premier Lacrosse League in 2019. He could have an even greater impact if he was able to direct some of his efforts towards a women’s league — something way above and beyond the current partnership with the WPLL.