Club keeps women in lacrosse

April 16, 1993|By Tom Worgo | Tom Worgo,Contributing Writer

Lacrosse for women in Anne Arundel County no longer ends after high school or college.

The Annapolis-based Chesapeake Women's Lacrosse Association club team, with 26 players on its roster, has five potential World Cup players and 11 college All-Americans. Players range in age from 18 to 28.

"You have to realize the talent we have on this team," said player Carin Peterson, 28, a former All-American at the University of Maryland and now the girls lacrosse coach at Severna Park High. "A majority of the team has played Division I and were All-Americans."

CWLA formed the club team in January to give women a chance to continue their lacrosse career past their high school and collegiate days.

The organization wanted to tap into a county rich with lacrosse talent, and let players be part of a local group instead of having them compete for club teams in Baltimore or Washington.

"A lot of the players here played with the Baltimore team, but this year they don't have to go that far," said Cathy Samaras, a member of the country's two national lacrosse boards and CWLA president. "We could've played a 12-game schedule, which is just as much as they play in college, but because of the rain, that didn't happen."

Chesapeake's potential World Cup players who are members of the U.S. Squad, a national touring team, include Peterson, Erin Brown (Maryland), Mandee O'Leary (Temple), Sue Heether (Loyola) and Jess Wilke (Maryland), Samaras said.

Those five were college All-Americans, and Wilke and O'Leary serve as assistant lacrosse coaches at Maryland.

Other college All-Americans and members of the U.S. Squad include Elaine Jones (Virginia), Mary Ann Meltzer (Maryland) and Karen Hoysted (Penn State).

Leann Shuck, Jenn Fink and Kim Terhorst, all teammates at Maryland and college All-Americans, boost the roster of all-stars.

"Men had [post-college and high school] competition for years," Samaras said. "Women had very little and we wanted to change that. The skill and sport doesn't stop after you graduate. Women are just as competitive as men. They just haven't been given the same opportunities to exhibit that competitive spirit."

The club, which practices and plays its home games at Annapolis High, faces Anne Arundel Community College tonight at 7 at the college. Chesapeake has beaten Loyola, Johns Hopkins and a Japanese club team.

The team routed Washington Club, 23-0, on April 4.

A bigger event on the schedule is the South Tournament at Anne Arundel CC on May 8, with club teams from Maryland and Washington invited.

In early March, Chesapeake competed in the William and Mary tournament in Williamsburg, Va., which included the nation's top Division I schools, and won two games, defeating Swarthmore and a Canadian club team.

Chesapeake will send a team in June to Colorado's Vail Shootout, a national festival of women's lacrosse for club and college players.

When the club season ends, many will remain active in the club, trying to spread their knowledge and talent to the community by coaching and playing in CWLA's Quick Stix summer program.

"These club players give a lot back to this town in lacrosse," Samaras said. "They will be the ones out there coaching the kids so they will get better."

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