January 24, 2010

Women's D-III PPOY: CUA's Kate Robinson

by Jac Coyne | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff | Coyne Archive

It may take a couple of weeks to get her lacrosse legs, but you can still see a little hoops in Kate Robinson's game even during the lacrosse season.
© David Sinclair

There's only one thing that could possibly slow down the final year of Kate Robinson's prolific lacrosse career at The Catholic University of America.

Basketball.

One of the rare student-athletes to participate in the basketball-lacrosse double-dip, Robinson was the third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder for the Cardinals last winter before amassing 77 goals and 44 assists during Catholic's run to the NCAA Division III women's lacrosse quarterfinals. She might have been better served to concentrate solely on her spring sport since a successful hoops season could potentially infringe on the first quarter of the 2010 lacrosse campaign.

Robinson, however, wasn't about to give up her career on the hardwood. When you're the granddaughter of Jim Phelan, the legendary former coach at Mount St. Mary's, who is fifth on the all-time wins list among college coaches behind names like Knight, Rupp, Smith and Krzyzewski, you don't just set aside basketball.

As it turns out, now that he's faced with watching an unfamiliar sport, Phelan is having a hard time giving up hoops, as well.

"He's still learning lacrosse, so he just comes to my games and he yells at the refs like he's still at a basketball game," said Robinson, chuckling.

More importantly, basketball has helped shape Robinson into a dominant midfielder and LM's Preseason Player of the Year. Whether it's field vision, footwork, help-side defense, setting screens, posting up or being strong through traffic, Robinson easily transfers her hoops acumen to the lacrosse field. The only aspect that doesn't carry over is the conditioning.

"There are basketball legs and then there are lacrosse legs," said Robinson. "It usually takes a couple of weeks."

The prospect of playing the first couple of games without Robinson on the field is daunting for CUA coach Meghan McDonogh, but she knows how important basketball is to her star midfielder. McDonogh also realizes she might have a slow start, but with 294 points in three years, Robinson always finishes strong.

"She may only have a few points in the first couple of games," said McDonogh. "But by the end of the season, no one can stop her."


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