Go-to player from get-go

Girls lacrosse: Lindsay Buchanan delivers in the clutch for Towson as a three-sport starter.

April 15, 1999|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Lindsay Buchanan earned her reputation as a clutch player within three minutes of her first appearance in a Towson varsity game.

As a freshman, Buchanan came off the bench in a regional semifinal field hockey game and scored the game-winning goal.

Two days later, she jumped into a scoreless first half and within six minutes contributed a goal and an assist. The Generals went on to win that game -- their first field hockey regional title in four years.

Not bad for a player who spent the entire regular season on JV.

"I felt a lot of pressure at first," Buchanan said at the time. "Then I figured I may as well just go out and try my best, and when I had the opportunities, I converted. I like helping out the team and scoring goals."

Nothing has changed since then.

Now a senior, Buchanan has proven to be a go-to player in three sports. She has contributed to state titles in basketball and lacrosse and a total of seven regional championships in 11 sports seasons.

"In high school, it takes just being an athlete," said Generals lacrosse coach Jill Altshuler, "but Lindsay is more than that -- she's a person who comes through in the clutch. You see her score five goals against Mount Hebron [in last year's state lacrosse final] and have a 25-point performance against Lansdowne [in a regional basketball game two months ago].

"That's a clutch player, and it's very hard to find that level of player in high school."

An All-America and All-Metro lacrosse player, Buchanan pushes herself to meet exceptionally high standards although they are no one's standards but her own.

"People say I'm my own worst critic," said Buchanan, "but I want to challenge myself and see how far I can go."

Buchanan, who likes rock climbing and wants to take an Outward Bound course, strives for perfection off the playing field, as well.

With a 4.0 unweighted grade-point average, she decided not to take it easy in her senior year. Her courses include an anatomy and physiology class and advanced placement calculus.

"She's such a hard worker," said field hockey coach Holly West, who also teaches Buchanan's anatomy and physiology class. "She wants to produce high-quality work. She's very tough on herself on the field and in the classroom. I hope she'll change that a little bit for college. She wants to push herself, certainly, but she doesn't want to beat herself up."

This past basketball season helped Buchanan learn to ease up on herself a little. After winning the Class 2A state title in 1997-98, the Generals graduated every starter except Buchanan, who had been a title-team contributor but not a star.

"She had the weight of the team [last winter] on her, and she handled it well," said basketball coach Bev Snyder. "It was a role change for her. It wasn't like field hockey or lacrosse, where everybody wants her to be the top. She had to have some support in basketball, and she did, and it worked out."

In lacrosse, however, Buchanan is the No. 9-ranked Generals' top returning player.

In addition to helping Towson to three straight state-title appearances, she has played for the South I schoolgirl team twice at the U.S. Women's Lacrosse Association's national tournament and has already signed with the University of Virginia.

"Playing in the national tournament gave me a lot of confidence," said Buchanan. "I learned that I can challenge any player one-on-one, and I learned that I can stop any player. If I want to, I can go out and have an impact all over the field."

Another confidence builder came last summer at the USWLA National Player Development Camp in West Chester, Pa. The camp ended with a three-on-three tournament that Buchanan and five teammates, including former Towson defender Jaimee Reynolds and Notre Dame Prep seniors Lauren Aumiller and Wick Stanwick, won.

The prize for winning was a chance to play a team of counselors that included World Cup veterans Michele Uhlfelder and Erin Brown.

"And we won," said Buchanan. "I couldn't believe it."

That should take off some of the pressure, too.

Pub Date: 4/15/99

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