From twirler to stickhandler Primavera emerges as lacrosse star

May 05, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Chrissy Primavera spent her preteen years twirling a baton and being looked upon as a non-athlete.

And when she finally took up sports, it wasn't lacrosse, at which she stars for Liberty, but volleyball and soccer.

"I was not a fast runner and walked the mile run," said Primavera, who is averaging more than four goals. "No one considered me an athlete. I was a goalie in soccer when I started playing in the seventh grade."

Non-athlete?

It might be hard to convince Liberty's opponents of that description.

Primavera, a senior, is the runaway scoring leader in Carroll County through the first eight games of the season, with 33 goals and 11 assists.

Primavera can shoot left- or right-handed, can lose a defender in a split second, has a knack for knowing when to pass or shoot and can pick up nearly every loose ball around the net and stick it into the goal.

In two years of junior varsity and two years of varsity lacrosse, Primavera has scored 91 goals.

"When the ball is on the ground around the goal, Chrissy is usually going to get it and score," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn.

"She has so much determination, drive and desire. She's also a team leader and one of the top players we've had here in five years."

But it was not until this season that Primavera got a chance to show just how good she is.

As a junior starter, Primavera played in the shadow of Valerie Swomley, the Lions' go-to player and senior scoring star.

"I didn't get the ball as much last year," she said.

Another factor in Primavera's emergence this year is her use of a plastic stick instead of a wood one.

"They gave me the plastic stick at a University of Maryland summer lacrosse camp, and it's definitely made my shot a little harder," she said. "And I'm shooting with both hands, which enables me to fake the goalie out more often."

The 10th-ranked Lions (8-0) have rolled through Carroll County and Howard County opponents this season with a fast-breaking game that has enabled them to outscore the opposition 146-51.

Primavera said the team's long-range goals are to knock off No. 1 Mount Hebron in the regionals and possibly win the state 2A-1A championship.

"We're going to have to play a college-level game to beat Mount Hebron," Primavera said. "They play a slowdown, and we like to run. But we've been working on running plays around the net in some of our recent games against weaker teams."

In spite of a super senior season, the Liberty star said she won't be attending college on a lacrosse scholarship.

"Most of the college coaches come around during your junior year, and I didn't have that great a season last year," she said. "Also, I've already made up my mind to go to Virginia Tech and major in engineering."

Primavera didn't have any trouble getting accepted, not with a 4.0 grade-point average throughout high school and a resume that includes student government association president.

She also is an outstanding volleyball player.

"Our volleyball coach [Helen Derwin] always says that, thank God, my mom kept me as a majorette until the seventh grade or I might have played soccer instead of volleyball," Primavera said.

And certainly Vaughn is elated that Primavera never decided to take up softball instead of lacrosse.

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