LACROSSE: Connecting The Dots
Published: Monday, February 24, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 12:02
Stanwick paced the Eagles’ offense last year and returns this spring hungry for more wins
When the ball finds its way to the stick of Covie Stanwick, the defense of the opposition locks in on the Boston College junior. Normally operating behind the goal, the attacker is a sensational talent with a high lacrosse IQ. Her intelligence on the field is overwhelming at first, as she has a nose for goal and an eye out for her open teammates.
Stanwick’s lacrosse mind shows up on the stat sheet as well. Tallying 65 goals and 22 assists in just 20 games as a sophomore last season, Stanwick became one of college lacrosse’s most potent offensive threats.
But none of this would come as a surprise if you look into Stanwick’s past. Her last name is synonymous with the game. Her grandfather, Tad Stanwick, wrote the first book on the 10-man game of lacrosse, which was simply titled Lacrosse. Stanwick’s father, Wells, picked up the knowledge and taught his eight children about the sport. Each of them went onto play at a high level.
“It was awesome,” Stanwick said. “It’s just really competitive. Still, to this day, we’re all trying to outdo each other in everything.”
While competitive, the family is tightly knit. Stanwick received seven texts wishing her luck before her game against New Hampshire, although the matchup was postponed until the next day.
Stanwick’s family lived just down the road from one of the most coveted grounds in the college game. When the kids were not playing in the backyard, their father would bring them to play at Johns Hopkins University.
“With each other, we kind of just mess around in the backyard and play,” Stanwick said. “We put my youngest brother in the goal and play with tennis balls and shoot on him.”
Those games have developed into miniature scrimmages.
“Now, we actually play a fiddlestick game, 2-on-2 or 3-on-3, we play just to mess around in the backyard,” Stanwick said.
One of the most prominent features of her game is her stickwork, which can be improved upon by spending time on a lacrosse wall. She still spends time practicing by herself and with others, but she grew up playing on a wall in her family’s garage.
“I used to call it my study break,” Stanwick said. “But it’s just nice to go out there and mess around. You have freedom to throw on the music and just hang out there.”
Her father originally had her on a routine which, depending on the day, consisted of 250 left-handed throws, 100 tosses with her right, and 100 switches.
“I had a routine when I was growing up, but then when I got to high school, I just kind of stopped counting and I would just to go until I felt good,” said Stanwick.
While each of the Stanwicks participated in multiple sports, including basketball and soccer, they gravitated toward lacrosse.
“I think we were the best at lacrosse,” Stanwick said. “We were all pretty good at the other sports, but best at lacrosse. It’s the most fun. It takes you the farthest.”
Stanwick grew up with one of the best to play the college game in recent years. Her brother, Steele, became the only member of the esteemed clan to win a national championship. His Virginia team took the Division I crown in 2011—the same season in which Stanwick won the Tewaaraton award, which is given to the nation’s best player. Steele now plays professionally for the Ohio Machine.
“He’s really creative,” Stanwick said of her brother. “He’s really athletic. He’s the only one out of all eight of us that’s won a national championship so far.”
Stanwick’s upbringing also helped learn about the complexities of the game’s tactics. In fact, Stanwick worked with Walker to develop a new motion offense to run against a zone defense.
Stanwick is not quick to mention herself, though. She was concerned, not only with improving every aspect of her game, but also with the welfare of her team. While she wants to get better at everything from dodging to finding her teammates, she just wants to win more.
“Getting a first tournament win is what I really want to do,” Stanwick said.
Having lost to Dartmouth in the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament, Stanwick and the Eagles are without an NCAA tournament victory in program history. Come the postseason in mid-May, whether or not the team lives up to that goal will depend on Stanwick’s ability to have another record-setting campaign.
McCarthy, the team’s workhorse, brings a high level of intensity to BC’s stout defense
In high school, Kate McCarthy travelled across the country—as far as California—and out of the U.S. to Costa Rica to play a sport. But that sport wasn’t lacrosse. McCarthy is a senior at Boston College who features as a midfielder for head coach Alison Foley’s women’s soccer team and Acacia Walker’s women’s lacrosse team.
“It isn’t as hard as everyone makes it out to be,” McCarthy said. “I get way more credit than I should.”
The humble Longmeadow, Mass. native is faced with the toll each sport takes on her body.
“I’m always in season,” McCarthy said. “Out of season sports are way worse than in season. The lifts are much easier and everything like that.”
Constantly active, her coaches are lenient with her duties fot both teams. Each gives her a break whenever she needs it.