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Local girls get schooled by U.S. lacrosse team players

January 06, 2013|By WILL ROBINSON | will.robinson@herald-mail.com

ST. JAMES — Four members of the U.S. Lacrosse Womens National Team took time out of their World Cup training schedule to hold a clinic for area girls lacrosse players at Saint James School on Sunday. Kristin Carr, Kelly Berger, Megan Huether and Molly Ford — all Maryland natives — brought their talents to Washington County to raise funds for the national team, which will be defending its World Cup crown in Canada in July. The event, sponsored by the Western Maryland chapter of U.S. Lacrosse, drew 59 players from ages 6 to 18 to hone their skill sets. “The Western Maryland chapter represents Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties. Our mission is to improve lacrosse in the five-county area,” said Susan Funke, girls lacrosse coach at Boonsboro High School and vice-president of the Western Maryland chapter of U.S. Lacrosse. “We’re trying to make our players and coaches better to better compete in the MPSSAA and private leagues around the area.” According to Funke, Western Maryland applied to be one of the clinics held around the country by U.S. Lacrosse and was lucky enough to be accepted for the first time in four years. “We hold about 10 to 15 clinics a year,” said Huether, a member of the 2009 World Cup championship team. “We’re going over the basics in each one of these, starting with stick work and building up from there. We try to cram as much as we can in two hours. “More importantly, though, we’re looking to inspire these girls. We want to get them ready for their school seasons and prepared to play well.” The participants on attack and defense began the camp rotating around three stations — designed for passing, possession and one-on-one drills — while the goalies learned technique from Huether. Later on, they separated into two groups designed for in-game situations — specifically 2-on-2, 2-on-3 and 3-on-4 attack scenarios. “Our goal was to work our way up to game simulations,” said Berger. “The more we can teach these kids the better.” After the camp broke, many participants stayed for autographs from the players and to thank them for their teachings. “I thought (the camp) was really cool. I know I want to play lacrosse in college and who knows? Maybe even try out for the National Team,” said Ellie Clark of Smithsburg, an attack at Mercersburg Academy. “I’m an attack, so the positioning that they taught us is really going to help me in the future.” As for the Western Maryland chapter of U.S. Lacrosse, they will continue spreading awareness of the game around the five-county area. “We’re gonna keep spreading our stuff,” said Funke. “We’ve had training for 65 PE teachers, including a two-week course, given over 50 schools equipment, and we do Level 1 and Level 2 youth coaching stuff every year. Hopefully we’ll get the U.S. Men’s Team in here next year.”

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