Local girls lacrosse making strides on national stage
August 8, 2013
For many years, Washington has been sending teams to the U.S. Lacrosse under-15 national championships, but never has a girls squad done as well as this year’s SuperStix Lacrosse Club.
SuperStix – which is mainly comprised of Sammamish and Issaquah residents – finished 13th out of 32 teams at the national tournament held July 23-25 at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
It’s the highest finish for any Washington team in the history of the event, said head coach and athletics director Chris Ramirez.
Although the team’s 2-3 record wasn’t spectacular, the fact they stuck with more established programs from the East Coast and Midwest was impressive. All three of the losses SuperStix sustained were against foes that reached the quarterfinals.
“That’s a good sign of the level of competition from the girls we brought down,” Ramirez said.
SuperStix opened with an 11-1 victory over Virginia’s Storm Select. After losing 11-3 to Elevate (N.Y.), they bounced back with a 14-7 triumph over the Detroit Coyotes.
Their tournament run ended with losses to opponents from Maryland (10-4) and Pennsylvania/New Jersey (13-4). Ramirez felt the struggles they had stemmed from a lack of cohesiveness.
The entire 20-player roster only practiced together once before leaving for Florida.
“We really couldn’t test what we had because many of the girls were committed to other programs,” he said.
However, there was plenty of success to celebrate. The players adapted to a fast pace, which Ramirez instilled during practices. He knew the heat and humidity might get to them, so conditioning and sprinting were important.
“We kind of push a really fast tempo, because we figure most of the 20 girls we have on the team are pretty fast,” Ramirez said. “We figured if we could rotate them in correctly … we would be able to keep the reserves up while the other teams were getting tired.”
The SuperStix roster includes attackers Kameron Ramirez, Cece Afman, Kara Nickle, Jessy Clinch and Anna Boyle; midfielders Ashley Cusack, Meredith Troy, Emily Hillyer, Carlin Reilly, Mackenzie Chapman, Madeline Banks, Hannah Meier, Kasie Beckelman and Lauren Banks; defenders Abby Dias, Kate Christi-ansen, Sophia Cerino and Claire Kimble; and goalkeepers Court Huston and Sara Williams.
Chris Ramirez said lacrosse is becoming a viable sport for girls of all ages, and he’s seeing many newcomers.
On last year’s Issaquah High JV team, for example, half of the 22 players were suiting up for the first time.
“It’s one of the fastest growing sports for girls right now, especially on the plateau,” he said. “It’s definitely, definitely taking off. We just haven’t caught up to the East Coast yet, where everybody has a stick in their hands in second or third grade.”