January 4, 2011

Inside the January Issue of LM

COVER STORY

Acton Up

Lacrosse Magazine: January 2011

Madison Acton had a unique strategy during tryouts for the U.S. Under-19 team last summer. Instead of trying to show up the other candidates and make them look bad, she strove to make them look good.

It was certainly the right play.

Acton's skill and generosity caught the eye of US Lacrosse selectors and her teammates alike. The midfielder from Sudbury, Mass., earned a spot on the U19 training team and is among 24 of the nation's top players vying for a spot on the final 18-player squad that will head to Hannover, Germany, this summer for the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) U19 World Championship.

Acton and her teammates will get a final chance to impress coaches at this month's US Lacrosse Champion Challenge event in Orlando, where the U19 team will draw against area college teams Jacksonville and Rollins.

Acton has already emerged as a team leader. She's one of three Revolution (Mass.) club players on the U19 training team roster (the others are Christine Ferguson and Kelsey Duryea). There are also six Massachusettes natives on the U.S. women's senior team roster -- a trend of great players from New England making it big in international lacrosse.

As she hopes for a trip to the FIL World Championship, Acton is smoothing out her stick work, perfecting her shot and getting her paperwork together for her passport. She's also still making teammates look good -- she can't stop talking about them.

"Taylor Trimble is a boss... Jen Cook, oh my God, she's amazing... Shannon Gilroy, you just can't stop her... Sally Jentis is an amazing defender... Barb [Sullivan] is hilarious and a stiff defender.

"For me, being on this team with such amazing players, to be able to develop and compete with these spectacular athletes is my greatest dream."


SCOOP

USC Goes 'All In'
"Fight on for old SC!" College sports fans recognize the University of Southern California's fight song due largely to the Trojans' traditionally strong football program. Lacrosse fans can now look forward to hearing it as well.

Lifestyles: Matisyahu
Long before reggae/hip-hop artist and Grammy nominee Matisyahu (at right) was breaking down musical barriers, he was laxing it up as a long pole at White Plains (N.Y.) High School. Matisyahu spoke with LM about how preparing for a show isn't so different from preparing for a game.

ZIP It: 98040 -- Mercer Island, Wash.
At just over five miles long (north to south) and two miles wide, Mercer Island, on Lake Washington just east of Seattle, is the most populated lake island in the United States with 20,000-plus residents. It wasn't long ago that only about 20 of them played organized lacrosse. Not so, anymore.

US Lacrosse Fast Break Hits Phoenix
So where does lax live? In November, lacrosse was living and thriving in Phoenix. US Lacrosse and our Arizona Chapter joined forces for a Fast Break Initiative "Super Weekend" that featured player clinics and training sessions for officials and coaches.


SIDELINE CHATTER

Question of the Month: What annoying habit do you have that coaches, teammates or parents want to change?

Winning response from Sebastian Gualy, Katy, Texas: "My mom is a total neat freak. I'm a total lax freak. She hates when I bring my stick inside the house, because I always scratch the wall paint or make too much noise. I tell her I have it under control or that I don't have a ball... Three broken windows, a broken wall and a shattered lamp don't help though."


FEATURES

Off the Field: Dillon Ward
Bellarmine sophomore goalie Dillon Ward is poised for a breakout. He racked up and .847 save percentage in the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League (the premier Canadian summer league), made the OLA's first-team All-Stars and won Goalie of the Year and Junior Player of the Year honors. Ward showed us the Louisville house he shares with his Bellarmine teammates, and told us how the Knights want to win it for the late "Black Jack" McGetrick in 2011.

Recruiting U: The NCAA and You
High school players aspiring to a collegiate lacrosse career should stop dreaming about the process and begin to form a plan -- now. That's the advice given by the NCAA. The best place to start is with the NCAA Eligibility Center. LM provides five keys to get eligible for NCAA Division I or Division II lacrosse.

Heads Up: US Lacrosse Works for Player Safety
Over the last year, concussions in sports have become a hot topic in various forms of media. Many of the pieces focus on the long-term, debilitating effects that NFL players have suffered due to concussions. Women's lacrosse was in the spotlight in an ESPN "E:60" piece that aired in August. The specific issues around concussions, and the broader issue of player safety, have long been a focus of US Lacrosse.

Preseason Prep: College Rankings and Players of the Year
What do you foresee for college lacrosse in 2011? Lacrosse Magazine sees great players, coaches, teams and stories, and they begin here with our annual Preseason Player of the Year profiles -- including the remarkable stories surrounding Kevin Crowley, Karri Ellen Johnson, Jack Harmatuk, Claire Petersen, DJ Hessler, Ali Jaeger, Matt Pratt, Danielle LaDuca, Renee Eligio, Trevor Yealy and Dallas McLellan.

NLL 2011: The Next Great Thing
The Rochester Knighthawks and ownership may try to downplay high expectations for Cody Jamieson (above right) on the eve of his rookie National Lacrosse League season, but why really? They thought enough about him to begin a plan nearly three years ago to put Jamieson in a Knighthawks uniform. Just trace the series of trades that landed them multiple first-round picks over the last two years and the No. 1 overall pick in both the 2009 and 2010 entry drafts. The idea was to put the club, owned by Jamieson's uncle Curt Styres, in position to pick his nephew whenever he was ready to leave Syracuse University.


YOUR EDGE

Your Game: Dynamic Duo
Louisville's Bergan Foley and Katie Oliverio are the most lethal 1-2 punch in women's lacrosse today. They shared some of their secrets with LM's readers, including the pinch-and-pop play, the sniper cut and a drill they simply call bag o' balls.

Your Game: Point Blank
It's you and him, one-on-one on the crease. Mount up. Mount St. Mary's goalie TC DiBartolo and attackman Andrew Scalley told us what goes through their minds when there's a split-second opportunity with not a defenseman in sight.

Your Body: How to Not Pull a Hammy
A major issue with lacrosse athletes is hamstring injuries. Once you get one, the treatment and time of recovery can be a long process that usually hinders your performance the entire season. Lack of hamstring strength also is a factor in ACL tears. Some athletes are so quad-dominant, it affects the recruitment patterns of muscles and contributes to injury. Here are eight exercises you can use to strengthen your hamstrings, increase flexibility and reduce the likelihood of injury.

Your Playbook: How to Handle an Assistant Coach
There is a saying in college sports: "Your team is only as good as the players you recruit." In the coaching ranks, the saying is similar: "A head coach will go as far as the assistant coaches will carry him (or her)." This should be the backbone of every head coach at the youth through elite levels.

Your Style: 'Stache Madness
Mustaches are funny. They have been ever since that kid in third grade sprouted the caterpillar fuzz that made you pine for the day you could grow your own, real-life cookie duster. We caught up with Ken Clausen (at right), one of the founders of the now wildly popular Men's Lacrosse Mustache Madness fundraiser, to talk 'stache and style.

Your Call: The Arms Have It
Giving a signal and direction with every foul may not be automatic for brand new officials. Here's your help. Plus, tips on getting fit to referee.


GIVE AND GO

Kelly Haglund, Midfielder/Attacker, Stone Ridge (Md.)
She loves Alexander Ovechkin and chocolate, leads on and off the field, would rather take family than fame with her if stranded on a desert island and yearns for prehistoric times.


COLUMNS

From the Editor: Style Makeover
New year. New LM. Though the appearance of Lacrosse Magazine has evolved, what hasn't changed is our commitment to bringing you the stories of the people and events that shape the lacrosse world, writes editor Paul Krome.

His Space: Class Reunion
"Tradition, that's what this is all about," the 6-foot-4, middle-aged but formidable looking man told LM columnist Bill Tanton at the door. The greeter was Hugh Mallon, once a defenseman at Maryland, now a businessman and an organizer of this event in Baltimore. He told one and all that this first reunion of post-collegiate Mount Washington Club lacrosse players was being held to keep a proud tradition alive.

Her Space: Book Marks
LM columnist Clare Lochary is a big believer in New Year's resolutions. She did well on her 2010 resolutions. Others, like reading 36 books in a year, were a struggle.


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