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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 was a blast for them. They tried out for a regional team as the youngest players and did not make the team. They did see girls like Erin Bakes who were amazing and not making the team lit a fire in the girls to work really hard to get better.
I had two little lax rats on my hands. Thankfully, during her brief stint in Central Florida, our paths crossed with an amazing lacrosse player who not only gave the girls lessons, but became a mentor to them. Emily Garrity Parros, former UNC Captain; NCAA Champion; US National team member and pro lacrosse player and not then, but now a D1 coach was such an inspiration to my kids. She encouraged them and was an example to them of hard work, focus and what being a great team mate is all about.
During the twins’ freshman year, the recruiting began. They visited 4 schools in the 1st 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 integral in walking the girls through the recruiting process which lasted over 2 years due to the recruiting rules changing in the midst of the journey.
By the time September 1 of the girls’ Junior year rolled round, they were still a little clueless about what they wanted, but way more prepared for the phone calls, visits... and thankfully 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 a dream truly reflects 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 is dedicated to sharing the growth of the game and the incredible girl’s lacrosse players from the Sunshine state!