Notes and Quotes from WD1 Media Day
Here are a few notes, quotes and observation from the
women’s Division I media day.
- One of the quirks of NCAA women’s lacrosse is that there
is some flexibility on field size. Standard fields must be between
60 and 75 yards wide and between 110 and 120 yards long. The field
at LaValle Stadium is 70 yards wide, which is on the larger side.
This means more running for everyone, especially on the ride. The
surface is FieldTurf, which is on the softer side, so bounce shots
will need some oomph.
- As LMO’s J. Jude Hazard reported, North Carolina and
Duke plane-pooled from the Research Triangle. Duke coach Kerstin
Kimel was glad the rival schools were able to share a charter
flight, since having an easy trip can be a distinct competitive
advantage. The Blue Devils got funds from the athletic department
for a charter flight and a bus that met them on the tarmac when
they traveled to Florida for the quarterfinals. It was a lot
easier, faster and more comfortable than a seven-hour bus ride, and
Kimel thought it was a difference-maker in their 13-11 upset of the
No. 4 seed Gators.
Counter example: Northwestern’s commercial flight was delayed
for 10 hours due to weather and the Wildcats got into their hotel
late last night and missed Wednesday’s scheduled
Maryland bussed it up from College Park, with a stop in New York
City to tour the new Yankees Stadium (courtesy of an assist from
Michael Phillips, father of junior attacker Bria Phillips, who
works for Legends Hospitality, the company that provides the
stadium’s concessions). Of all people, Australian attacker
Sarah Mollison sounded super-pumped about seeing one of the great
venues for America’s past time. “It was awesome,”
said Mollison, a self-described bandwagoner who became a Yankees
fan during her first summer in the States.
- North Carolina probably had the hardest practice of all four
teams (they did a few speed ladders and some full-field clearing
drills) but the Heels still took time out for fun. While the
offense did a cutting-and-shooting drill on cage, the defense
played an ersatz softball game with flipped-over lacrosse sticks,
cones for bases and a tennis ball. Senior defender Taylor Chumney
was the game’s standout, with a perfectly executed bunt and a
key tagout on assistant coach Jenn Cook.
- UNC sophomore goalie Lauren Maksym, a Farmingdale (N.Y.) High
School product, has played – and won – twice at LaValle
Stadium before in New York State Championships. Maksym is one of 13
Long Island natives participating in this weekend’s
championship. Nine of the 13 locals are Wildcats, including
standout Shannon Smith (West Babylon). PS – For those
who’ve never done it before, driving down the Long Island
Expressway is like driving through a lacrosse roster. Massapequa!
Syosset! Babylon! Islip, Smithtown, Commack!
- If both UNC and Duke win their semifinal games and advance to
the final, it will be only the second time in history the two
schools will face each other in a national championship. In the
1992 women’s soccer championship, the Tar Heels crushed the
Blue Devils, 9-1. (It was during UNC soccer great Mia Hamm’s
- If either Maryland or Duke win the championship, and their
corresponding men’s teams do the same, it will be the first
time one school captured both the men’s and women’s
Division I lacrosse titles in the same year since Princeton did it