Editor’s Note: Please welcome Catherine Conway to the LaxAllStars Network. Catherine will be writing with us about her experiences as she traveled from coast to coast this summer, laxing her way around the country.
Author Bio: Catherine Conway played at Boston College (in goal and on the field) and doesn’t know how to stop. She coaches for Lady Laxachusetts, and plays whenever she can, even if it’s wall ball with her dog against the garage door.
The summer is quickly drawing to a close and many of retirees will be hanging up our sticks until next summer. However, it would be unjust to let one of the best events of this summer slip by without so much as a mention… the Lake Placid Summit Tournament.
I once again took to the fields in the shadow of the ski jumps at Lake Placid with my buddies, the Twisted Sisters. We are a wildly eclectic and “rag tag” group of women. We are not populated by one school, or division for that matter. We represent Delaware, Univ. of New Haven, Adelphi, UConn, UNH, Boston College, amongst others.* Most of the Sisters showed up on Thursday afternoon to check into the hotel (Northwoods Inn – pretty bad reviews on Yelp!, but not a terrible place to stay) and get some team bonding time in. It’s nice to get back in the swing of things as a group for the returning Sisters, and to get a feel for the newbies, maybe even try to learn some names. Thursday night is fairly tame, as everyone wants to start off their games on the right/sober foot…. All bets are off starting Friday morning.
Having different backgrounds makes everything better, in my opinion. When teams are dominated by one group, they share the same stories and stick to the same routines. When everyone is from different places, I have found that people are far more likely to try something different and step out of their comfort zone. Except for the standards of the previous summer, there are no preconceived notions of how the team is supposed to look, sound, or behave. It is a different experience for everyone involved. Again, that is just my opinion.
Friday morning started off with a beautiful Adirondack sunrise, and got progressively better. One could not have asked for better tournament weather: low 80’s, light breeze, little to no humidity, and very few clouds in the sky. With nearly perfect playing conditions and a tight knit team, we swept through the tournament, going undefeated in group play.
The weather turned Sunday morning and all games were pushed up an hour due to incoming thunderstorms. The sky opened up 5 minutes before the first whistle of the championship game, which should have been an indication of how the game would go. We lost a tough one to Graph-Tex (10-4), but we didn’t mind. We enjoyed every second of our time in Placid. Silver is still a medal, after all (just ask McKayla Maroney).
If you haven’t read the Ten Commandments of Club Lacrosse, here they are. It will give you a better understanding of how and why we (laxers past our prime) love going to these tournaments so much.
- Thou shall talk about club lacrosse more than thou plays club lacrosse. We have been talking about our team ALL year. Starting the day we left the field last summer, we have been in thick and constant talks about offensive motions, subbing patterns, draw calls, and what watering holes to hit on each night.
- Thou shall not idolize thy peers on other club lacrosse teams. Twisted Sisters had the privilege to play against the Mass Elite Alumnae – led by the Frank sisters (both Northwestern alum… look them up; they are women’s lax royalty) and Graph-Tex – the Syracuse women’s team, led by Katie Rowan, Michelle Tumulo Tee Ladouceur (again, look them up). However, even the prestige of their rosters did not scare us.
- Thou shall not talk badly of club lacrosse or thy club lacrosse teammates. We love everything about club lacrosse weekends. There is nothing bad to say about club lacrosse or our teammates.
- Thou shall always rest thy hallowed body after every weekend tournament. The day after Placid is spent in a deep depression, usually sleeping and rehydrating. Shout out to Motive|Pure for the free samples. The stuff is awesome.
- Thou shall honor thy team organizers, that your team may be long-lasting. Twisted Sisters has been going to Placid for almost 15 years. Big shout out to the team organizers Mr. and Mrs. Flego (they run Twist Lacrosse out of Philly). They keep us coming back every year.
- Thou shall not threaten lives with thy body or stick. While we are all about intense games and winning, we’re not stupid about it. Placid is meant to be a fun and competitive weekend. The last thing you want to do is injure an fellow laxer by playing lazy, dangerous defense; throwing wild checks or blind-side picks. “It’s Placid!”
- Thou shall not ice the goalie. While icing might be played out, some teams still revel in it (… guilty). The goalie might be ruled out but anyone else is fair game, including but not limited to the only father that was courageous enough to venture out to Zig Zag’s with the team.
- Thou shall not steal lonely wands from the grass. You never steal another laxer’s gear, be it from the grass or from the hotel. Tee Ladouceur’s gear got stolen from the hallway of the hotel where it was airing out; brutal move by whomever took her wand and turf dogs.
- Thou shall not bear false witness against thy referee or opponent. You can’t back talk the refs (too much). They are there to have fun and keep us relatively in check. Sure, I’m going to hoot and holler when an 8m is called on goal-line extended by the trailing ref, but in the end, they are just doing their job. Same goes for our opponents. In the end, it’s Placid.
- Thou shall not covet thy opponent’s uniform or resources. You never covet an opponent’s uniform, but anyone else is fair game, ergo the men’s teams (looking at you Buffalo Soldiers – those jorts were awesome). As far as resources are concerned, as long as you’re in Placid, you’re bound to have a good time. It’s equal opportunity fun for everyone, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to buddy up with a big team…
Suggestions for anyone that goes to Placid:
1. Take a midday swim in Mirror Lake (avoid night time swims, they are illegal as we found out).
2. Go cliff jumping at the Flume, there is something for everyone.
3. Check out the Olympic facilities.
Tournament dates have been announced for next summer. Mark your calendars: August 5-11, 2013. Registration for the adult tournament starts in January, so be sure to submit your application on time. Only 348 more days…