It was 2007 when I really got back into coaching lacrosse after moving across the country and being introduced to the freezing, snowy, icy fields of Minnesota. I met a group of young middle school kids who were inseparable on and off the field. They were a big part of my life and my team for 5 years as I watched them grow from kids to young ladies preparing to head off to college. There were several incredibly talented kids in this group that would eventually start on Varsity as freshman for the high school team and taking it for the first time to the final four, and eventually take the number 2 slot years later at the State tournament as seniors. They came into an average high school team and transformed it into a powerhouse that school had not seen before and has not seen since. One of these players was a game changer that I rarely have the good fortune to say was on my team’s roster.
As an 8th grader she had a goofy cradle and she ran like she was skating on the ice barely lifting her feet off the ground, which made sense because she was primarily an ice hockey player dabbling in a little off season lacrosse. Her speed was so intense that other players would stop and just watch her go, she controlled our draws easily and she shot goals like a cannon into the net.
As she grew into the game throughout high school, her leadership began to help shape our team into a well-disciplined offense that tallied up record breaking amounts of goals each season. She directed traffic, made smart decisions with the ball and that speed…well that speed challenged our officials at every game to keep up. Lacrosse is usually the fastest game on two feet when it’s in the air, but in this case it may have been faster when she ran it through the midfield.
Not only did she stand out as a player, her enormous heart, love for her teammates and the game, and her drive and dedication make her one of those players you measure all other players after her up against. She also does a pretty wicked MOOOOOO if you beg her too..
Today she continues to make an impact as a player at Louisville. I ran into her coach at the Lacrosse convention who immediately at hearing her name gave me a big smile. She may be an ice hockey player from the frozen tundra, but this Midwestern laxer can’t be underestimated.
I read that she has a team leading 50 goals and 6 assists as a sophomore at Louisville, 23rd in the nation and 2nd on her team in points. This afternoon Louisville faces powerhouse Northwestern for the opportunity to move ahead in the NCAA tournament. Im in a new state, with a new high school team and will be practicing for our own quarterfinal tournament that we play tomorrow, so I may not be able to catch her game online. Hannah, I wish you the best of luck, for all the work you put in, the dreams, the sweat and the tears, you’ve earned this. Thanks for making coaching that much sweeter, now go get it!