High School Girls

May 27, 2011

Player View: Laura Frankenfield at the WDNT

Laura Frankenfield is a sophomore attacker from Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Pa., and will be blogging from this year's US Lacrosse Women's Division National Tournament, presented by deBeer and the HLA Foundation. Frankenfield is playing for the Philly 3 team in this year's   tournament. She's also an intern with PhillyLacrosse.com, writing about tournaments in the area and college commitments, and plays club lacrosse for Ultimate Goal 2013. Frankenfield blogged for LaxMagazine.com at the US Lacrosse U15 National Championships in 2009 and we're thrilled to welcome her back.

Sunday, May 29 - 4:15 p.m.

It was another hot day of games here in Stony Brook.  The playoffs started and things were pretty intense as teams played in order to claim the honor of #1.  Our Philly 3 team that had been the #1 seed for playoffs played a tight game against Baltimore Metro 3 that ended
with Baltimore prevailing on an 8 meter in sudden death overtime. That meant we were to play Eastern Shore at 11.  That game was also extremely close, with Eastern Shore winning by one goal.  Even though it would have been great to win, our team played really well and at the end of the day we left it all on the field.

As nerve-racking as one overtime is, I can't imagine the three that the Lower New England team had.  In fact, most of the games today were one goal games, which just goes to show how intense the competition was.  Even teams you didn't expect to be too strong were, which is a true testament to just how fast the sport of lacrosse is spreading. And not only spreading, but developing.  Typically you think of the East Coast as the biggest hotbed for lacrosse, but we're definitely going to be getting a run for our money soon.

Despite some intense tan lines, I think that the majority of girls will agree that the National Tournament was an amazing tournament to start the summer off with.  The competition, that I've been going on and on about, truly was the best I've seen.  The number of coaches
watching was something you would never see at another tournament and the aspect of a whole new team was refreshing.  One thing is for sure, you will definitely be seeing me there again next year!

Saturday, May 28 - 6:50 p.m.

To say a lot has happened in the past 24 hours here in Stony Brook, N.Y. is an understatement.  The weekend started off with two amazing semifinal games last night at LaValle Stadium. With a huge audience, it definitely set the tone for a weekend of lacrosse.  With a Maryland win over a strong Duke team and then a win from Northwestern in an extremely close game against UNC, you could say we were all in awe watching the games.  Although I was extremely into the semifinal games, the next morning's games were still on my mind.  The questions I had, which have now been answered, lingered in my mind until I feel asleep on an unusually comfortable pull out couch at a nearby hotel.

With our team not having one practice before the tournament, it came as a surprise that our team had so much chemistry on the field.  With an early win over D.C. Metro 4, we were beginning to develop connections and figure out the play of our teammates. We then played a strong Hudson Valley and pulled out another well-earned win.  For our last game of the day, we played a South Florida team that had lost both their games.  To say they were pumped up does not do their team justice; they wanted the win badly, and they believed they were about to have it when they were up 7-5 with about seven minutes left. But with several strong drives we were able to tie it, get one goal up and then add on a safety goal to win it 9-7.  We now have the #1 seed for playoffs tomorrow, for a team that has never practiced together.

When we aren't playing, the vendors and food hold a wide array of players. It's interesting to stand there and see shirts with Georgia Lacrosse, or Texas Lacrosse, because coming from a Pennsylvania team, you typically don't see those when you're at any given East Coast tournament.  So for me, I love watching the teams play that I usually wouldn't get to see play;  it's interesting to see the level of plays coming from states other than those on the East Coast. It's impressive, to say the least, how much talent is here in Stony Brook.

Even though I find it interesting to see the names on the shirts of the players walking around, those on the college coaches are a little more shocking.  It's safe to say that in just one day I've probably seen 30 plus coaches watching games and walking around today.  It's odd to think that any given coach could see you playing, and think that you might be a player they want.  Even last night, I found myself thinking that all those girls out there playing for a national championship were once a 16-year-old standing on a field with coaches watching them, and look where they ended up. It's odd to think that the girls that will be playing in those national championship games in three or four years, are standing on the fields surrounding me this weekend. And I know I'm getting way ahead of myself, but with recruiting you always do have to think into the future.

But as for tonight, I plan on not thinking further into the future than tomorrow's games.  Another early game will determine if our Philly 3 team makes it to the finals here in Stony Brook.  As for tonight, it wouldn't be a complete weekend of lacrosse without another game tonight.  Team USA will be facing off against Team Canada here tonight. Check back tomorrow for all the details on tournament playoffs!

Friday afternoon, May 27

Going into the National Tournament at Stony Brook this weekend, I honestly do not know what to expect.  Aside from knowing that this tournament brings in great players for amazing competition, and that it's a great opportunity to represent my region, I know little. I don't know many of the girls on my team. I don't know the caliber of the other teams, and I certainly don't know how I'll play under the pressure of the onlooking college coaches.

The lacrosse community in Philadelphia is a large one in numbers, but when it comes down to it, everyone knows who everyone is.  Walking into the Radnor High School stadium at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and seeing the faces of all those amazing players, might be one of the most intimidating things you could handle at that early in the morning.  We had nine hours of play ahead of us, and when I say us, I mean 180 of the Philly area's best players all veering to make one of the five teams. After five hours, the numbers were cut down to about 130 players for five teams.  Four more hours rolled by and we were sent home and told to keep an eye out for an email.

The next day, I received a congratulations email that told me to come back the next Sunday for placements. After four more hours, I was put on Team 3, and met my team for a matter of three minutes. I have no idea what position any of them play, or even their names. I guess you could say it'll be an adventure when I go to the field tomorrow to find my team.

To give anyone at home reading this an idea of the magnitude of this tournament, there are teams coming from 30 states, and for a vast number of those states there are multiple teams.  Put simply, this tournament is HUGE.  With the best players from each region coming to this tournament, the intensity and level of play is some of the best in the nation.  Typically, at the tournaments I go to for my club team, Ultimate Goal, we don't see teams from California or Florida, which is not the case at all at the National Tournament. Looking at
the schedules, I have no idea what to expect from some of the teams, being that I've never played against girls from those places before.

With so much great competition at one tournament, the National Tournament seems to be one of the best recruiting opportunities. Being a sophomore, I have little experience with college coaches at any of my games, much less with a bunch of coaches being at a game of
mine.  I know everyone says to ignore all the coaches watching and just play your game, but let's be honest, that's nearly impossible with an audience that includes coaches with the names of the nation's best colleges embroidered on their hats and printed on their shirts.
Subconsciously, I know I'll be wondering what coaches are watching, but I have no idea how I'll play since I have little experience with such situations.  Hopefully, I will be able to do something along the lines of ignoring who's watching and play my game, like everyone says to do.

Although I love playing, I have to say that my favorite aspect of this tournament is that conveniently the NCAA Final 4 games are the night before the tournament begins. With the two semifinal games being played tonight, it will be a good start to a lax-filled Memorial Day
weekend!  Games start early tomorrow morning, but I'll be checking back in as soon as a get a break to keep all of you at home in the loop of what is going here at Stony Brook!

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