ESPNHS continues its weekly feature, Around the Crease, which takes a look at players, teams and high school lacrosse news from around the country.
Coming A Long Way
While the Coral Shores (Tavernier, Fla.) girls’ lacrosse team has come a long way in just seven years of existence, its team members still have to be willing to go to great lengths -- literally -- in order to achieve success.
It’s necessary when your program is located in the Florida Keys just above Cuba and its nearest rival is about 60 miles away with the farthest being about 110 miles. Trips average two hours by bus with a maximum of about three hours.
"Our school is only 690 students. And most of the schools we play against have three and a half thousand students," said Mark Hall, 52, the Hurricanes' coach since the program's inception. “We're the southernmost team in the continental United States. Many of the teams we play are in Miami and in Broward and Palm Beach County."
Playing away games is a challenge.
"It is difficult and definitely different from a home game. When we arrive, it takes a while to stretch and completely wake up," said senior attack Jenn Doyle, the Hurricanes' second-leading scorer. "We stay motivated by encouraging and exciting each other. We are motivated by each others' presence."
So far, so good.
Members of the Florida High School Athletic Association, the Hurricanes are two-time defending South Florida (District 25) champions, and took a mark of 10-3 into Wednesday's District 25 semi-final.
Not bad for a program whose first lacrosse program took the field just over a decade ago.
"My oldest son, who is 26, started the boys’ lacrosse program 12 years ago when he was a freshman in high school. That grew to what it is now, which is two, full boys teams," said Hall. "In 2006 when we started the girls lacrosse team basically from scratch. None of our girls ever played lacrosse before high school. We don't have any feeder programs. We're hoping to get some middle school programs started. So lacrosse has taken off at our school. It's the largest athletic program at our school."
Doyle (60 ground balls, 36 goals, seven assists) and junior attack Julia Lozano (91, 77, 16) are the team’s scoring leaders.
Doyle will play at Saint Leo University near Tampa next spring, and Lozano has already committed to Stetson University in Deland, Fla., where senior defender Camie Lopez and senior attack Raisa Santiesteban will play next spring.
"Camie will be there for Stetson's inaugural season, and she's a phenomenal player and actually our first Division I recruit," said Hall.
Life Is Grand
ESPNHS caught up with the Grand Cities' Predators Lacrosse team, a first-year program located in Grand Forks, N.D. Comprised of 17 boys ranging from eighth-to-11th grade from East Grand Forks (Minn.). The team was featured in a previous Around the Crease.
The Predators’ program won its first game, an 8-7 overtime victory against Proctor (Minn.), during which they overcame a 4-1 second-quarter deficit.
The win came over the course of three-game stretch April 14-15 at Denfield (Duluth, Minn.). The Predators went 1-2.
Tanner Lindstrom scored the game-winning goal to give the team the win. It was Lindstrom’s fourth goal of the game. Christian Hanson had four assists and one goal, Colton Ramsey had one goals and one assist. Chris Kjenstad scored once, Mason Kallock had an assist and Jake Young recorded 10 saves.
"There was some good, some bad, and some ugly," Predators head coach Brent Lindstrom said. "But we did get a win, the kids celebrated like it was a world championship, and we all had a great time.”