Every year the countdown continues, the countdown to Lake Placid that is. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Lake Placid Summit Classic, it’s a huge lacrosse tournament that lasts a week, with teams ranging from youth to 60+. It’s an event that I honestly have never seen anything like in any other sport.
It’s a gathering of lacrosse people from all over. One congregation of ambassadors from different teams, towns, backgrounds, and countries.
To sum it up, it’s time very well spent with your lacrosse family. And every year, that family gets bigger. Just add the amazing people you met the years before with your new friends. It’s lacrosse reunions and first-meetings in what I consider one of the most beautiful places on earth.
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This year, Lake Placid grew a major branch of its family tree. It was the first year that there was a Women’s Masters Division (30+). 7v7 was the name of the game and it took place on a shorter field with college rules. I was lucky enough to get in on the action and play for Laxified, a team started up by Lake Placid legend Lyn Reitenbach. (Side note, Lyn has played in every Lake Placid Tournament, which makes her more of an absolute boss than she already is.)
The games were fun, intense, and fast paced, something George Leveille would call “the way the game should be played.” Each game and half started with a draw, then after that the goalies would orchestrate clearing the ball out. Two defenders and the goalie would stay back, giving ample space to the five attackers on the offensive end.
More space means more creativity and room to create opportunities. Trick shots were a plenty and the rapid pace of play and quick restarts allowed for many fast breaks, with goalies eager to make big stops and hit even bigger outlets.
The style of play reminded me of box lacrosse. Being a box goalie myself, I have become a huge advocate for a faster game (like box), with skill, finesse, and high game sense being the main components.
The best part of the new addition to the LP family wasn’t the style of play though. It was the fact that women were finally given an opportunity to play with those around the same age as themselves, at a tournament where they have watched their male counterparts play within the same context.
Gone are the days of top female athletes sitting on the sidelines. No more watching the guys they love play because there is no opportunity for women in their age bracket, or because they have a family.
What is considered the norm is no longer and it was amazing to see that not only were there a good number of accomplished women playing in the Masters Division, but many had families. This means they had the opportunity to bring their kids to Placid to see not only their fathers play, but their mothers as well.
This is what I would like to call a true family experience.
We, as women in lacrosse, still have far to go, but we have chipped away at the barriers that have been placed before us.
All things considered, the Women’s Masters Division, in its first year, showed much promise not only to the growth of opportunities for women to play post college, but for the growth of the game itself.