Adrienne Tarver, Park, lacrosse

Q & A //

Star midfielder juggles busy schedule

(Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
April 22, 2010|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

Park's Adrienne Tarver is one of the top midfielders in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference, but that's just one aspect of her rich high school life. In addition to playing soccer and basketball, the senior is active in several tutoring and mentoring programs for youngsters at Park and at Lockerman Bundy Elementary. Tarver, 17, is also a leader for Park's Habitat for Humanity commitment. Doing her senior project at a law firm, the A/B student is considering a career in law. A veteran of the TLC club program, she used her exceptional speed to excel all over the field for the defending B Conference champion Bruins, leading them in draw controls and interceptions while contributing 19 goals. She chose to play lacrosse at Yale over five-time defending national champion Northwestern — after eliminating Duke, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Cornell and Syracuse.

Question: When did you start playing lacrosse?

Answer: I got started with lacrosse in fourth grade. They started an indoor league for middle-schoolers here at Park, and I thought I might as well. I had a stick because I had moved from Fort Washington … and I have two older brothers, who, of course, when they came to Baltimore, the first place they went was Lax World. I was, "I want a stick too," so I had a little mini stick.

Q: Did you pick up anything from watching your brothers play lacrosse?

A: I did. They taught me a lot of things, especially when they were home, before they went to college. They would always throw with me and encourage me to work on my left hand and stuff. After the championship last year that we won, my middle brother (Kyle) had to go back to school right away, so I didn't see him. He called me after the game, and he was like: "You only have one move. By the way, good game." (Laughs.) He's just always encouraged me to go harder.

Q: What was it like to win that championship? You were down by four goals with five minutes left.

A: I think that was the best game I've ever played for any season. Everyone had given up, apparently, except for us. The crowd started to die down a little bit. You could see that they were already starting to celebrate, being up by four goals. I guess somewhere within us we were like, "We don't have anything to lose, so we may as well give it our all." It was just the most exciting thing ever.

Q: As a senior, you're looked to as a leader. Do you like that role?

A: I do like that role — a lot. I like to be relied upon. I think that it makes me play better, and I also think it makes me work to make sure that I'm keeping my head as much in the game as I can, because I know that other people are looking to me to see what I'm doing.

Q: When did you know you were faster than most kids?

A: When I was playing Little League baseball, because we used to do our sprinting by running bases. I could keep up with many of the boys and beat several others.

Q: Do you think your speed had a lot to do with you being heavily recruited?

A: Definitely. So many other girls on my TLC team and (at Park) have so much more finesse than I do. Their stickwork is so much better than mine that I think my speed is definitely an asset that has helped me a lot in my game and also in my recruiting.

Q: What colleges did you look at?

A: My choices came down to Yale and Northwestern, and it was really tough. ... After thinking about everything, I could see myself fitting in more and having Yale be more of an environment where I'd feel comfortable.

Q: Was it hard to turn down the No.1 team in the country?

A: It was hard, especially because I have so much respect for their program, as I do Yale's, but obviously they've won the last five championships. How could I not? And their coaches were really great, so it definitely was tough, but there was just something about Yale as a school that I saw myself at more than Northwestern.

Q: What do you do with Habitat for Humanity?

A: Right now, Park Habitat is working to create a coalition of schools throughout Baltimore that would build an entire block of houses in Baltimore City. It's called the Build a Block Coalition. This year also celebrates our 12 houses in 10years goal that we reached at Park.

Q: How do you juggle all the things you do?

A: I can't say I always do it smoothly (laughs). It definitely gets stressful sometimes and it piles up, but I try not to think about how much I'm doing. That was the advice I got from a senior a couple years ago as I entered junior year and they were telling me how tough a year it was. They were saying never think about how much work you have. The reason why I do them all is they're activities I like doing and I've made commitments to them, so I don't want to drop any of them.

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