Blogs and Commentary

posted 05.26.2011 at 10.17 p.m. by Clare Lochary

Notes and Quotes from WD1 Media Day

Here are a few notes, quotes and observation from the women’s Division I media day.

  • One of the quirks of NCAA women’s lacrosse is that there is some flexibility on field size. Standard fields must be between 60 and 75 yards wide and between 110 and 120 yards long. The field at LaValle Stadium is 70 yards wide, which is on the larger side. This means more running for everyone, especially on the ride. The surface is FieldTurf, which is on the softer side, so bounce shots will need some oomph.
  • As LMO’s J. Jude Hazard reported, North Carolina and Duke plane-pooled from the Research Triangle. Duke coach Kerstin Kimel was glad the rival schools were able to share a charter flight, since having an easy trip can be a distinct competitive advantage. The Blue Devils got funds from the athletic department for a charter flight and a bus that met them on the tarmac when they traveled to Florida for the quarterfinals. It was a lot easier, faster and more comfortable than a seven-hour bus ride, and Kimel thought it was a difference-maker in their 13-11 upset of the No. 4 seed Gators.

    Counter example: Northwestern’s commercial flight was delayed for 10 hours due to weather and the Wildcats got into their hotel late last night and missed Wednesday’s scheduled practice.

    Maryland bussed it up from College Park, with a stop in New York City to tour the new Yankees Stadium (courtesy of an assist from Michael Phillips, father of junior attacker Bria Phillips, who works for Legends Hospitality, the company that provides the stadium’s concessions). Of all people, Australian attacker Sarah Mollison sounded super-pumped about seeing one of the great venues for America’s past time. “It was awesome,” said Mollison, a self-described bandwagoner who became a Yankees fan during her first summer in the States.
  • North Carolina probably had the hardest practice of all four teams (they did a few speed ladders and some full-field clearing drills) but the Heels still took time out for fun. While the offense did a cutting-and-shooting drill on cage, the defense played an ersatz softball game with flipped-over lacrosse sticks, cones for bases and a tennis ball. Senior defender Taylor Chumney was the game’s standout, with a perfectly executed bunt and a key tagout on assistant coach Jenn Cook.
  • UNC sophomore goalie Lauren Maksym, a Farmingdale (N.Y.) High School product, has played – and won – twice at LaValle Stadium before in New York State Championships. Maksym is one of 13 Long Island natives participating in this weekend’s championship. Nine of the 13 locals are Wildcats, including standout Shannon Smith (West Babylon). PS – For those who’ve never done it before, driving down the Long Island Expressway is like driving through a lacrosse roster. Massapequa! Syosset! Babylon! Islip, Smithtown, Commack!
  • If both UNC and Duke win their semifinal games and advance to the final, it will be only the second time in history the two schools will face each other in a national championship. In the 1992 women’s soccer championship, the Tar Heels crushed the Blue Devils, 9-1. (It was during UNC soccer great Mia Hamm’s heyday.)
  • If either Maryland or Duke win the championship, and their corresponding men’s teams do the same, it will be the first time one school captured both the men’s and women’s Division I lacrosse titles in the same year since Princeton did it in  1994.