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Girl’s lacrosse has come a long way in the six years since my daughters began playing lacrosse. From having absolutely no idea what the sport of lacrosse even was when they first began on a Rec team, to committing to play Women’s lacrosse at a Top 10 Division 1 college, the twins journey in this fabulous sport is perfect reflection of how girl’s lacrosse has grown in Florida.
My husband asked my 10-year-olds if they wanted to play lacrosse. Their answer was “What is lacrosse?” After showing them a YouTube video of girl’s playing lacrosse, my girls decidetd to try it out.
From day one, they loved this sport. It is the fastest sport on two feet. The games are exciting and there is lots of scoring. Girl’s lacrosse does have lots of whistles, but the rule changes and adaptations are helping to change that somewhat.
After one year of Rec, the twins tried out for a travel team. Initially, they did not travel too far, but the elevated level of club lax was a blast for them. They tried out for a regional middle school team to represent Florida at a National tournament. They were the youngest players tyring out and did not make the team. They did see amazing players like Erin Bakes (who made that team)at the tryout. The girl's expreience in not making that team lit a fire in them to work really hard to get better.I had two little lax rats on my hands. Thankfully, during this same time the girls met their role model in lax! In her brief stint of living in Central Florida, Emily Garrity Parros (former UNC Captain; NCAA Champion; US National team member. pro lacrosse player; curent D1 coach) was coaching at a local high school while her husband trained for the Olympics. Coach Emily became such an inspiration to my kids. She encouraged them and was a living example of hard work, focus and what being a great team mate is all about. The girls look up to her so much and want to emulate her. She will always be a huge inspiration to my kids.
Our time with Coach Emily was brief as she moved after being offered a coaching position at ECU. Early recruiting was still a thing during the twins’ freshman year, and the recruiting journey began. They visited 4 schools in the Fall semester and 4 schools in the spring. It was quite a whirlwind that none of us were quite prepared for. Through that process, we developed some wonderful relationships with college coaches. One coach, Crysti Foote, who had recruited the girls and was no longer coaching in college was an integral part in walking the girls through the recruiting process which lasted over 2 years due to the recruiting rules changing in the middle of the journey.
By the time September 1st of the girls’ Junior year rolled round, they were still not sure about what they wanted in a college, but having spent their entire freshman year going through the recruiting process, this second wave of recruiting was something that they were way more prepared for than the first time they experienced it. After many phone calls and official visits... both girls fell in love with the same school--the University of Denver. They are so excited to be Pioneers and play for Coach Liza Kelly!
Watching my girls set goals, grow in their game and achieve their dream is a good reflection of the level of lacrosse in Florida that started in infancy and has produced players like Olivia Ferrucci, Erin Bakes, Molly Garrett, Bailey Mathis and the girls’ good friend, Caitlyn Wurzburger. It’s so encouraging to see little girls playing lacrosse and the talent level of the 10-year-olds in Florida. Florida is no longer a non-traditional state, but is a state that will continue to roll out amazing players. The FLlaxgirlnews webpage and Twitter is dedicated to sharing the growth of the game and the incredible girl’s lacrosse players from aroung the Sunshine state!