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Archive for April, 2023

April 30, 2023 — Why the ACC is a “superconference”

Think of this: in 1992, the Boston College women’s lacrosse program began, under the cloud of three possible closures of women’s lacrosse programs at Massachusetts, Northeastern, and Rutgers.

Today, the Eagles stand as champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, a league of women’s lacrosse teams which could conceivably go five deep in this year’s NCAA Division I Tournament.

The Eagles, along with second-place North Carolina, regular-season champion Syracuse, along with Virginia and Notre Dame, are, for me, absolute locks for the tournament. You could also make a case for first-year program Clemson, despite the fact that the Tigers do not have a significant win over a Top 10 team.

Still, the ACC this year is a good story. With other conferences like the Big Ten and Big East making great strides in interconference play, the margin for error for this coming week is narrower than ever. It will be very difficult for many teams playing this week to make the tournament without winning the conference championship.

Indeed, it has gotten to the point where Princeton, in its final league fixture of the 2023 campaign, knew it needed to beat Harvard by at least four goals in order to clinch the third seed and an Ivy semifinal match against Yale. The Elis, Princeton, and Harvard all finished with 4-3 league records, though Princeton’s record is under .500, meaning the Tigers need to win the Ivy League postseason tournament to even be eligible for the NCAA Tournament.

Filling the brackets for this year is going to be very interesting and unlikely to be a clean exercise.

April 29, 2023 — CANCELLED: A worthy fundraiser

The 2023 Gains for Brains event was cancelled because of heavy rain on Long Island. No word on a makeup date.

Today in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., weather permitting, the first of 10 girls’ lacrosse games — more than three-quarters of them interstate matchups — will take place on two sites at the high school.

It’s the seventh iteration of the Gains for Brains Lacrosse Showcase, which raises money for the Making Headway Foundation which treats children with brain and spinal cord injuries.

I know many of you can’t be there for the entire game, and there are overlaps in the games which gives spectators a chance to sample games at the lower and upper fields.

But if I could pick out four games you really want to watch, it’s the noon game between Massapequa (N.Y.) and Greenwich Sacred Heart (Conn.), the 1 p.m. game between Garden City (N.Y.) and New Canaan (Conn.)., the 2 p.m. game between West Babylon (N.Y.) and Greenwich (Conn.) Academy, and the 3 p.m. game between South Huntington St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) and Darien (Conn.). Two honorable mentions are the 10 a.m. contest between Mt. Sinai (N.Y.) and Wilton (Conn.) and the 6 p.m. game between Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) and Summit (N.J.).

As you can tell, these are delicious matchups which showcase the very best the girls’ game has to offer, and it deserves your attendance and support.

April 28, 2023 — Friday Statwatch for games played through April 26

This week’s Statwatch take a look at a sister act that has been burning the nets in the South. Chapel Hill (N.C.) has had an outstanding season thus far, winning their first 20 games of the 2023 season. In half of those games, the Tigers have exceeded the 20-goal mark.

Part of that is due to the sister act of junior captain Addie Gilner and her sister, freshman Scarlett Gilner. Addie Gilner is amongst the best assisters, with 58 on the season. Scarlett is tied for third in the nation in goal-scoring with 117.

And did I mention that she’s a freshman? It will be interesting to see what kind of digits she can put on the scoreboard the next three years.

What you see below are from available sources, including MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, the KHSAA, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Advance Media. To make this list an even more complete one, I encourage you to adopt the easy-to-use platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams to enter their information there as well as whichever is your local news site, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

140 Sara Williams, Winter Haven All Saints Academy (Fla.)
134 Riley Sterling, Palo Alto Castilleja (Calif.)
117 Scarlett Gilner, Chapel Hill (N.C.)
117 Ryann Frechette, St. John’s Bartram Trail (Fla.)
112 Susan Lowther, Sarasota Riverview (Fla.)
108 Jadyn Zdanavage, Irvine Portola (Calif.)
106 Vanni Intini, Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy
106 Laken Wright, Fuquay-Varina Willow Spring (N.C.)
104 Triniti Cassidy, Snellville Brookwood (Ga.)
104 Emma Linscott, Atlanta Lakeside (Ga.)
104 Kelly Tou, Irvine University (Calif.)

100 Lauren Hauden, Newport Croatan (N.C.)
77 Charlee Nyquist, Lake Mary (Fla.)
76 Taylor McGovern, Margery Stoneman Douglas (Fla.)
73 Allie Hirst, Southern Pines Pinecrest (N.C.)
73 Emily Phillips Wake Forest (N.C.)
68 Riley Nee (Hampstead Topsail (N.C.)
67 Sophia Richardson, Lexington Sayre (Ky.)
62 Polly Miller, Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy
59 Lauren Koshlap, Merritt Island Edgewood (Fla.)
58 Addie Gilner, Chapel Hill (N.C.)

842 Kathy Jenkins|
497 Lisa Lindley
447 Chris Robinson

We’ve done the best we can from here, but there’s more statistics out there. If you see something amiss in these listings, please feel free to send an email to us at Send us some evidence (a website will do), and we can make corrections.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll try this all over again in seven days.

April 27, 2023 — While the football team has privileges, women athletes have been scrambling

James Madison University has had a number of successful athletic teams on its Harrisonburg, Va. campus. The field hockey team won the NCAA championship in 1994. The women’s lacrosse team, in 2001, had the lead, the ball, and no shot clock in a quarterfinal game at Maryland — yep, the Maryland with the all-star team of Adams and Carney and Comito and Egan and Martinez. But JMU allowed the equalizer and scored a shocking own goal to provide the margin of victory for the Terrapins.

But when the school’s football team, one which won the Division 1-AA championship in 2004 and 2016, moved from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Sun Belt Conference — a Division 1-A team in the Football Bowl Subdivision — the rest of the teams representing the university have been sent scrambling.

Sure, some of them will be playing a Sun Belt schedule against the likes of Marshall, Georgia State, Old Dominion, and Coastal Carolina, but the field hockey and lacrosse teams have been looking for a conference to join.

This spring, JMU’s lacrosse teams have been playing in the American Athletic Conference, which includes the likes of Florida, Temple, Vanderbilt, and Cincinnati. The Dukes seem about ready to run the table in the AAC, boasting a 5-0 record heading into this weekend’s conference finale against East Carolina.

In the last couple of days, the JMU field hockey team signed on to play with the Mid-American Conference starting in 2024. The MAC will have nine teams — Ball State, Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami, Ohio University, Longwood, Appalachian State, Bellarmine, and James Madison.

It is an intriguing soup of teams. Indeed, I think the coaching and the reach of some of these universities into their respective states can make this into a conference strong enough to warrant an at-large bid in the NCAA Division I tournament. It’s a strong statement, given the fact that the NCAA Tournament Committee rarely gives out at-large bids outside of the ACC and Big Ten.

Let’s see what kind of teams these nine schools will wind up fielding in a couple of years.

April 26, 2023 — An appreciation: Maddie Jenner, center, Duke

One in an occasional series.

Shortly after 1 p.m., today, the Duke women’s lacrosse season ended with a 15-9 loss to Boston College in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament.

As the Blue Devils have an 8-10 record, they are ineligible for selection to the NCAA Division I Tournament.

And thus ends the playing career of the most prolific draw-taker in NCAA history, Maddie Jenner. The titan is a record-holder for draws in a season (233) and a career (791). While you can argue that the career number is inflated because of the COVID year, she also had to play her freshman season as not the primary draw specialist; that role fell to her sister Olivia, then a senior.

Jenner was so dominant on the draws, the reactions to it were almost comical. Parents would complain that the rules needed to be changed so that a 6-foot-2 athlete couldn’t win as many draws as she did, keeping whichever side she was playing for off the ball for long stretches of the game.

Perhaps, she was at the height of her powers when she was the center for the United States U-19 World Cup team in 2019. In this environment, she was an Everest in Kansas. Winning the draw, primarily to herself, she was like Paul Bunyan, Babe Ruth, Trevor Baptiste, and Lisa Leslie rolled up into one.

She gave the U.S. immediate control of the ball after goals and kept the opposing team from having the ball for huge stretches of games. That U.S. team won every one of their seven games by a minimum of eight goals. Jenner’s 61 draw controls were a major part of that effort.

At Duke, she did not enjoy that kind of dominant success. The Blue Devils never made a Final Four while she was a player at Duke, but the team made a couple of deep playoff runs in 2021 and 2022, only to run into Northwestern and Maryland, respectively, to end their seasons.

As is the case with many senior women’s lacrosse players, the path forward for Maddie Jenner is unpredictable. She could follow her sister into the world of big-city finance. She could find her passion in coaching. She could follow her ambitions into the medical field. Or she could take advantage of any of the professional women’s lacrosse opportunities which seem to be burbling up all over the landscape.

Whatever she does, I’m certain success will follow.

April 25, 2023 — Top 10 for the week of April 23

It has not been an easy week for those in our Top 10, as we had three teams drop out. We could have a bigger shakeup because of the results of this week’s Gains for Brains Showcase, played in the hamlet of Cold Spring Harbor, at the northern edge of Long Island.

At the top of our rankings is a game which is going to be a great one, as Darien (Conn.) takes on New Canaan (Conn.) in a matchup which goes back many years. Both teams are in the CIAC Class L bracket, and in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which means that these teams could meet three times this season. Today, at Dunning Stadium in New Canaan, is the first test.

1. Darien (Conn.) 9-0
Wave went to Long Island and took down East Setauket Ward Melville (Md.) 12-5, setting up a titanic matchup tomorrow against New Canaan (Conn.) and a meeting with South Huntington St. Anthony (N.Y.) at the Gains for Brains Showcase
2. New Canaan (Conn.) 7-0
Rams not only have Darien (Conn.) tomorrow, they have Garden City (N.Y.) this weekend, and South Huntington St. Anthony (N.Y.) the weekend after
3. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 14-1
Don’t look now, but the Eagles are finding championship form, throttling Olney Good Counsel (Md.) 21-10 in a key intersectional match last week
4. Northport (N.Y.) 9-0
Tigers take on East Setauket Ward Melville (N.Y.) tomorrow
5. Brooklandville St. Paul’s (Md.) 14-2
Gators take on Glenelg (Md.) Country School in what could be a bellweather game for the IAAM playoffs
6. Radnor Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) 9-1
Patriots embark into the heart of their Philadelphia Catholic League schedule
7. Lutherville Maryvale Prep (Md.) 12-2
The coaching of Brian Reese is paying dividends; this will be a dangerous team in the playoffs
8. Wilton (Conn.) 8-0
Warriors take on Trumbull St. Joseph’s (Conn.) today and Ridgefield (Conn.) on Thursday
9. Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) 9-0
BBP takes on Summit (N.J.) this Saturday in the Gains for Brains Showcase
10. Eldersburg Liberty (Md.) 9-1
Liberty takes on Sykesville Century (Md.) today in a derby match

Who’s out: Glenelg (Md.) Country School 12-8 loss to Owings Mills McDonogh and 9-7 loss to Brooklandville Maryvale Prep (Md.); Rosemont Agnes Irwin (Pa.) 5-4 loss to Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) and 8-7 loss to Philadelphia Penn Charter (Pa.); Wantaugh (N.Y.) 8-7 loss to Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) and 14-13 loss to Garden City (N.Y.)

And bear in mind: Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.) 10-0, Greenwich (Conn.) Academy 5-1, Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.) 6-1, Delray American Heritage (Fla.) 18-1, Glenelg (Md.) Country School 11-2, Manchester (Md.) Valley 10-0, Severna Park (Md.) 7-3, Olney Good Counsel (Md.) 11-5, Glenelg (Md.) 8-2, Summit (N.J.) 7-1, Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) 7-1, Baldwinsville (N.Y.) 6-1, Rush-Henretta (N.Y.) 5-0, South Huntington St. Anthony (N.Y.) 7-2, Canandaigua (N.Y.) Academy 9-2, East Setauket Ward Melville (N.Y.) 8-1, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) 14-1, Charlottesville St. Anne’s-Belfield (Va.) 11-1

April 24, 2023 — If it’s too good to be true …

If you ever do a Google search in the news section for “girls lacrosse,” you usually expect to see news articles about the game.

Instead, this spring, I am seeing more and more opportunities for graft and fraud by anonymous hackers spoofing content on YouTube, trying to get you to give up valuable personal information.

The scammers have been posting YouTube links to purported places where girls’ lacrosse games are supposedly broadcast, but you are directed to a link, where you may have to enter personal information or even a “subscription.”

The users all have one thing in common; a name followed by a long dash and five random characters — like “Loretta-—fj7se.”

I ask you, gentle readers, to save yourself time and energy and get a subscription to the NFHS Network instead of falling for these scams.

You’ll be glad you did.

April 23, 2023 — May Madness coming early

Today, the postseason for NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse begins with two “pigtail” games in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The action continues in Charlotte over the next week as the country’s most powerful and prominent conference chooses a champion and perhaps gives a bubble team or two a chance to get an at-large bid.

Thing is, when the ACC wraps things up on next Sunday, a number of other conference will not have even started on their road to the Final Four, which this year is in Cary, N.C.

I have always though of this system as being somewhat ersatz. The ACC will have a week between the end of its tournament and Selection Sunday. No other team in the nation will have a break between the end of the season and the first round of the NCAA Division I Tournament.

Now, I’ve seen this start happening in basketball, where some conferences wrap up their conference championship a full week before the selections are released, and presumably giving teams a week more rest than the rest of the field.

This doesn’t strike me as particularly fair. And I think there is going to be a massive controversy sometime when a team with a longer break between the conference tournament and their first-round NCAA game will blitz the rest of the field and win the national championship.

Of course, the games are won and lost by the athletes on the field. But an extended break between a conference tournament and a potential second-round game in the bracket may be the difference between winning and losing.

Let’s see what happens.

April 22, 2023 — A rocket-launcher is born in suburban Baltimore

It took just 2 1/2 minutes in front of a national audience for Remi Schaller to announce herself to the world.

The junior attacking midfielder for the Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) girls’ lacrosse team is a player who is already on one of the nation’s most storied school teams, and has already committed to the University of Michigan starting in the fall of 2024.

But in yesterday’s game against Olney Good Counsel (Md.), your defending WCAC champions, Schaller arrowed in an 8-meter free position. Or, perhaps “arrowed” isn’t the proper word. She launched the ball like a SpaceX, and the ball exploded in the top corner.

It was the first of her five goals, most of which came from the 8-meter arc on one-step shots that nobody on the Falcons team could figure out how to stop. Of course, she wasn’t alone, as many of McDonogh’s 21 goals against Good Counsel game on free position opportunities — and at a very high percentage.

It would be easy to point to the Charlotte North knock-on effect as to why Schaller and a number of other top scholastic lacrosse prospects have turned the game of lacrosse into a free-throw-shooting contest like it was in the late 1980s. After all, the former Boston College product turned herself into an unstoppable force at the 8, even against goaltenders who are a far sight better than their counterparts in the wooden-stick era of the game.

Of course, it will be interesting to see if Schaller is able to have the same kind of scoring prowess at the next level against well-trained and physically imposing goalies. The odds are that it will be harder to have the same kind of percentage of scoring in the rough-and-tumble Big Ten. But Schaller’s uncommon physicality will make it fin to watch.

April 21, 2023 — Friday Statwatch for games played through April 19

Hi, everyone, and welcome to Friday Statwatch, where we are trying to tie together the threads that link players from region to region, from coast to coast, and back through the ether of time.

Thus far, we have an intriguing national scoring race given the fact that the top two players are on opposite coasts; Sara Williams of Florida, and Riley Sterling of California. Williams’ team is playing against Orlando Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) in the Florida state playoffs. Yep, a Lake Highland Prep team coached by Chris Robinson, who is heading towards 450 wins in his storied career.

Meanwhile, Sterling’s side is in the midst of its Western Bay Area League season and has a number of matches remaining before its CIF sectional tournament. As always, California doesn’t have a comprehensive state tournament in girls’ lacrosse.

Before we get into this week’s helping of numbers, our usual plug. I hope you can convince your teams, your schools, leagues, or state governing bodies to adopt the easy-to-use platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams to enter their information there as well as whichever is your local news site, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

What you see below are from available sources, including MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, the KHSAA, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Advance Media.

136 Sara Williams, Winter Haven All Saints Academy (Fla.)
123 Riley Sterling, Palo Alto Castilleja (Calif.)
112 Ryann Frechette, St. John’s Bartram Trail (Fla.)
112 Susan Lowther, Sarasota Riverview (Fla.)
104 Triniti Cassidy, Snellville Brookwood (Ga.)
104 Emma Linscott, Atlanta Lakeside (Ga.)
101 Hailey Rappeno, Myrtle Beach Socastee (S.C.)
100 Reagan Flanagan, Atlanta Lakeside (Ga.)
100 Jenna Skibba, Lake Mary (Fla.)
97 Vanni Intini, Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy
97 Emerson Sheyda, Apopka (Fla.)

77 Charlee Nyquist, Lake Mary (Fla.)
73 Taylor McGovern, Margery Stoneman Douglas (Fla.)
69 Lauren Hauden, Newport Croatan (N.C.)
65 Sophia Richardson, Lexington Sayre (Ky.)
62 Emily Phillips Wake Forest (N.C.)
61 Allie Hirst, Southern Pines Pinecrest (N.C.)
59 Riley Nee (Hampstead Topsail (N.C.)
56 Polly Miller, Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy
56 Lauren Koshlap, Merritt Island Edgewood (Fla.)
56 Susan Lowther, Sarasota Riverview (Fla.)

840 Kathy Jenkins|
493 Lisa Lindley
445 Chris Robinson

We know there’s more numbers out there. If you see something amiss in these listings, please feel free to send an email to us at Send us some evidence (a website will do), and we can make corrections.

Thanks for reading, everyone.