Frederick Stars meet Wales for girls lacrosse friendly
FSLAX players share love for the sport, cultures with European visitors
On Wednesday evening, 40 or so girls from the Frederick Stars Lacrosse Club and Wales Under-19 Women's National team gathered together for a group picture.
The Old World met the New World earlier that evening, playing a double header at Middletown High's stadium. And though FSLAX had won both the "A" and "B" contests, 12-9 and 16-0 respectively, the score was of little concern.
"It was such an experience," FSLAX 2010 and St. John's-Catholic Prep standout Morgan Molnar said. "It was so much fun. We loved hearing their accents the whole game."
Wednesday's international rendezvous resulted from Frederick's proximity to Baltimore as well as the club's renowned reputation. Both organizations regard themselves as ambassadors for their respective nations. And while diplomacy was limited during play, the opportunity to broaden both competitive and cultural horizons was not lost on the participants.
"At the moment it's not about winning," Wales head coach Karen Hugagn said. "At the moment it's about the experience and being able to do the things that they're asked to do. I don't really care about the score."
New Jersey native and former Cornell University player and assistant coach Lyndsay Robinson, who's helping coach Wales as part of a exchange program, says her girls are fascinated with the curiosities of sports of this side of the pond, such as tailgating.
Middletown wasn't the Welsh's lone stateside stop. Already having scrimmaged the Maryland and District of Columbia Lacrosse Club, Wales will participate in the Club National Championships at the Germantown SoccerPlex this weekend.
Lacrosse has only managed a minor foothold in Wales and the United Kingdom in general. Soccer is king with rugby close behind. The Welsh National Team has practiced less than a dozen times. Still, Hugagn sees improvement every time they hit the field.
"It's been a lot of fun," Welsh "A" team member Charlotte Allan said. "It's really different than England. The level of competition is higher here."
Game one pitted FSLAX 2010's rising senior team agaubst the Wales U19A squad. Competitive throughout, the American team held on, fueled by scores from Jennie Ballenger (St. John's-Catholic Prep), Ashleigh Kassab (Walkersville), Joyce Lineberry (Urbana), Katie Gladhill (Damascus), Elizabeth Nagel (Holy Child) and Lindsay Bullock (Francis Scott Key).
"I never thought I'd be coaching against a team that wasn't from Maryland or [the United States]," FSLAX 2010 coach Steve Heine said. "It just goes to show how lacrosse is growing, not just in this country, but worldwide."
Also on the Frederick 2010 squad is Linganore's Halley Snell, Kat Lambert and Rachel Akley; Walkersville's Beth Butterfield, Samantha Collins and Rachel Ward; TJ's Lauren Gibson and Kelly James; Urbana's Gretchen Heine; FSK's Abby Shaughness; Boonsboro's Mackenzie Frasier; Churchill's Zoe Kabelac and Smithsburg's Jessica Kelly.
Though less competitive in the nightcap, FSLAX 2011/12 team (comprised of rising juniors and sophomores) faced off against the Welsh U19B side. Brittan Altomare (Middletown), Courtni Dadd (Urbana), Kallie Guillen (Frederick), Julia Karcewski (Middletown), Erin Phelan (Catoctin), Mollie Smith (Urbana), Brooke Wilson (SJCP), Chantal Agnew (Poolesville) and Taylor Cline (Smithsburg) all found the net.
Kelsey Ayers (Linganore), Samantha Barbeito (Middletown), Emily Boyce (Middletown), Sarah Collins (Walkersville), Sydney Frey (Middletown), Courtney Luther (Frederick), Loudon Valley's Caitlin McGinn, Victoria Molchan, Andrew Mustacchio; Catoctin's Kelsey Phelan (Catoctin), and Nicole Thom, and Marial Pierce (SJCP) round out FSLAX's 2011-2012 roster.