July 12, 2013

Igoe Makes Quick Impact in International Debut

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Kristin Igoe, the first B.C. alum to play for Team USA, had a goal and an assist in the tourney opener against England.
© JC Pinhiero

Midfielder Kristin Igoe is the first Boston College alum to make the U.S. women's senior team. She hopes she's not the last.

"I'm just proud to represent my country, and Boston College. I hope that helps them get recruitits and become a better program, and make more girls get to that next level," she said. "It's cool to be that inspiration and just to see that hard work pay off. A lot of people set goals that don't get achieved. To actually have that -- I set my goal to make the World Cup team and to have that happen is really fulfilling and makes me proud."

Igoe's international lacrosse career got off to a strong start with a 17-7 win over England in the Americans' opening game of the 2013 FIL Women's World Cup. Igoe finished with a goal and an assist. The assist came on a fun, fast-break play when goalie Devon Wills made a big stop and stormed up to the restraining line with English attackers in hot pursuit before dishing the ball to Igoe, who carried it into U.S. territory and then fed Katie Rowan, who scored.

"I think Devon was going a little faster than me, so I was trying to keep up with her. She's an amazing goalie, like a bullet out of the cage," Igoe said. "She made the pass and I had some room and Katie Rowan was open, so I fed her and she had a great finish."

With the possible exception of Wills, Igoe rarely struggles to keep up with anyone on the field. She is one of the fastest players on the team.

"She'll lull you into getting comfortable as a defender, and then will just blow by you and turn it on. Between the 30s, you can expect her to be the best," U.S. team captain Linsdey Munday said.

At Boston College, Igoe was a do-it-all player. The 2012 grad is the Eagles' all-time career goal leader (165) and finished her NCAA career in the top 5 of all of the school's career records list. For Team USA, she's more of a pure midfielder, with her focus firmly between the 30s.

"At BC, I had a bigger load on my shoulders. I had to do the scoring, mark up on defense, whereas on Team USA, the attack can score. I don't need to score five goals per game. I get balls, I get the ball over the line, and I get back on D," she said. "I love the ride. It's exhausting but fun because you know everyone's working their butts off to get it back, and it works. There are lots of doubles making the other team feel nervous. It's fun to put that pressure on."

Igoe can and will shoot, though, when opportunity presents itself.

"It seems like she has wings. She's not the one shooting the most, but she knows how to put it away," U.S. defender Holly Reilly said.

U. S. coach Ricky Fried was impressed with Igoe's speed, as well as her overall approach to the tryout process. In October 2012, the team participated in the annual Stars & Stripes event, playing against NCAA and international competition. Fried and his staff divided the team into two squads for the final day of the competition. One team -- the ostensible frontrunners -- got to play in the premier event, a televised ESPN game against FIL archrival Australia. The second team played Stanford in a game that was not televised. Igoe was on the second team.

"To her credit, in California, she wasn't play on that last day in the quote-unquote TV game but she didn't let that affect how she went out and played. She focused on the things that she needed to focus on to play at a higher level. The smaller things that she does I think go unnoticed by a lot of people," Fried said.

Igoe took her Stars & Stripes experience as a sign she need to buckle down even more.

"When you don't hear your name called for the TV game, you ask questions. So cut it out, work hard, show them the little things. I could have been really mad and played horribly, but I kinda let it go," she said.

After rededicating herself, Igoe had a great showing at Champion Challenge in January, and made the final selection to the 18-player roster. She spent the spring working as a substitute teacher and coaching the Franklin (Mass.) High School girls' varsity team to an 18-3 finish. She regularly jumped into drills alongside her players to stay in shape for Oshawa. Now the 2013 FIL Women's World Cup is underway, she's thrilled to be back on the field alongside her Team USA teammates.

"I think on Team USA, there's 18 people who are totally, 100 percent committed, who will do anything. They love, love, love lacrosse," Igoe said. "I know every person on Team USA is like me. Loves lacrosse, loves putting in the work."

In Oshawa, Igoe has been delighted to find there's an even wider world of women who are passionate about the game. A friend from Igoe's hometown of Framingham, Massachusetts, Devin O'Leary, played at Stonehill College and is now a midfielder for Team Ireland. She even found a current Boston College student, Grace Son, playing for Team Korea.

"It's a small world, and we all love lacrosse," she said. 

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