Weitzel driven to the finish Love of lacrosse: An All-America first team and a top player on the U.S. Under-19 squad, the senior didn't want to miss her last season with Garrison Forest.

April 10, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Jacque Weitzel should be going to Disney World.

There's just not a lot left for the Garrison Forest senior to accomplish as a high school lacrosse player.

Her resume already includes All-Metro first team, All-America first team, top schoolgirl player at the U.S. Women's Lacrosse Association national tournament and key contributor to the U.S. Under-19 team that finished second at last summer's world championships.

A few folks around Garrison wondered whether, after accomplishing so much as a junior, she might sit out this season.

"No way," said Weitzel, an Annapolis resident who boards at Garrison. "Playing for your country is a little bit more pressure than playing for your school, but I love my school, so I try to put the same amount of effort into it."

Weitzel doesn't play any differently for the Grizzlies than she did for the Under-19 team. She simply loves the game and she plays all out all the time.

Her natural athletic ability combined with exceptional quickness and a dominant left hand make her almost impossible to contain on attack and nearly impossible to escape on defense.

Still, Dartmouth-bound Weitzel never seems satisfied with her game, often deflecting compliments to the point where she appears lacking in confidence. But that's not the case, said Garrison coach Micul Ann Morse.

"She has very high standards and therefore she sees what she doesn't do," said Morse. "I guess when you're gifted like that, you accept what you can do, and what you can't do really bothers you. If I rated her lacrosse skills at a 9 1/2 , probably her weakness is an 8 1/2 , but Jacque sees that as a big weakness."

Weitzel said that drive to excel probably stems from growing up with four athletic older brothers. She quickly learned to hold her own in a variety of backyard games and was hooked on lacrosse as soon as she played in a rec game in the fifth grade.

A year later, she volunteered to be a goalie but soon regretted it. She didn't get out of the goal full time until her freshman year on Garrison's varsity. Now, the opposition would rather see her back in the goal where she excelled for four years on the Grizzlies' varsity hockey and soccer teams.

"She's such a presence on attack," said Roland Park goalie Melissa Coyne, Weitzel's teammate on the Under-19 squad. "You not only have to keep the ball away from her but you have to keep the ball away from her side of the field, because if it hits the ground she's going to get it."

Even if it doesn't hit the ground, she might get it, because what really sets Weitzel apart is the way she plays defense.

Her speed turns her into an opponents' shadow. The No. 3 Grizzlies (2-1) rely heavily on her ability to force turnovers and control ground balls in the midfield.

A rare blend of individual standout and team player, Weitzel has the ability to take over a game, but she's also content to handle the little things.

"Jacque plays the role that is necessary on a team," said Morse. "She knows the team's got to have the ball and she also respects the ability of her teammates."

Last year, she scored 30 goals and had 20 assists, but with a more veteran attack this season, she may not have to do as much scoring. That doesn't bother her.

"She's not just out for the glory and out to score -- she's out for the team," said Garrison attacker Melissa Riggs. "There are a lot of excellent players especially in this area, but Jacque is so well rounded. What she can do is amazing."

Pub Date: 4/10/96

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