How new is lacrosse on the local high school scene? So new that one of the brightest stars on a top-10 girls’ team is still unsure of the rules. Well, some of them, at least.
Armstrong junior attacker Amy Master has been playing lacrosse since the eighth grade and became a member of the varsity team a year later. She was a key member of the Falcons’ state tournament consolation champions last year, yet she readily admits that many of the laws of lacrosse baffle her.
“The first time I even heard of lacrosse was when my sister started playing,” Master said. “I didn’t know anything about it then. I still don’t understand all of the rules.”
That hasn’t stopped Master from excelling in her sport. She’s expected to be one of Armstrong’s key offensive cogs, dangerous enough to warrant attention from opponents and take the heat off of star attacker Mari Verbeten.
Staff writer Jim Paulsen talked with Master about her expectations for the upcoming season, including a satisfying superstition.
Q What other sports do you play?
A I play tennis and I’ve Alpine skied.
Q Do you have a favorite?
A Lacrosse is my favorite. It’s really fun and it keeps you in shape. And all the girls are so nice.
Q It’s also more of a true team sport than tennis and skiing.
A That’s exactly it. You can rely on your team members. That makes it more fun.
Q So, which rule still gives you the most trouble?
A The biggest one is knowing when to stop when the refs blow the whistle. There are so many calls, it gets kind of annoying. But it’s supposed to be a non-contact sport and they’re trying to keep us safe.
Q They can’t take all the contact out, can they?
A If the refs aren’t around, I guess you could push other girls around. Some girls really get into that, but those are probably girls who are going to play in college.
Q What position do you play?
A I play high attack. I have to stay on the offensive side. I can’t go back past the restraining line to play defense.
Q But you get to score goals.
A Yeah, that part is really fun.
Q What is the strongest part of your game?
A My hand-eye coordination and footwork is pretty good because of tennis. I’m quick on my feet and that helps.
Q How important was last year’s state tournament trip to this year’s team?
A It was great. None of Armstrong’s sports teams seem to make it that far. I think we’re a better team this year. Our communication is better. And we didn’t quit after we lost the first game. We ended up being the best of the losers.
Q What about this year?
A I think we can go back to the state tournament. Our goal is to go farther than last year.
Q Any superstitions?
A Last year, I ate a Snickers bar before every game because I thought it was good luck. My mom runs the concession stand, so she would buy me one before the game started.
Q After last year, sounds like a superstition worth continuing.
A Yeah, I’ll probably do it again this year.