By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/12/09
Former Conestoga great and recent Hall of Fame inductee Amy (Havrilla) Orcutt has been named the head girls’ lacrosse coach at her alma mater.
Orcutt, a 1997 Conestoga graduate, was head coach at Agnes Irwin for the past six years. She replaces Jen Cadden, who resigned to spend more time with her family after guiding the Pioneers to a 10-7 finish in 2009.
Orcutt was an Honorable Mention Scholastic All-American in 1997 and an All-Central League performer. She then starred at North Carolina, collecting 76 goals while being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Team in her sophomore and junior years. She was one of four people inducted into the Conestoga Sports Hall of Fame in October.
“I am extremely excited to come back to Conestoga and coach,” Orcutt said. “For as long as I can remember, I wanted to coach at Conestoga; it really has been a dream of mine. I always thought that I would give back to the school that gave me so much.”
Orcutt said her coaching style stresses a good work ethic and positive feedback.
“I am a teacher of the sport,” she said. “My philosophy is to teach the skills necessary to become top lacrosse players and bring out the most potential in each player. I believe that hard work pays off, and I always coach my players that if they put forth their best effort, work hard, and bring a good attitude everyday, success will come to them.
“I have learned that girls need feedback. In practice and in games, they need to know how they are doing and what they can do to get better. I have learned that you get more out of your players through positive coaching. So whether a mistake was made on the field or a great play was made, something positive always needs to be said to that player. Positive coaching builds confidence and you have to have confidence to be successful.”
After Orcutt graduated, Conestoga became the power in Pennsylvania, winning six of eight Class AAA (large schools) District 1 championships. She hopes the Pioneers can again become a state contender.
“With a program like Conestoga, which was known for so many years to be at the top, there is potential to get back up there,” she said. “That’s a goal of mine – to get the program back to where we want it to be.”
Orcutt, who will be coaching with the Phantastix club team, is hoping to work with the Conestoga feeder programs such as youth and middle school teams.
“I will be continuing to encourage young girls to play lacrosse and stick it out in middle school,” she said.
Orcutt wanted to cite former Conestoga Freshman coach Joann Yusko as a positive role model.
“The one person who really stands out in my mind is JoAnn Yusko,” she said of the Phantastix club coach. “She was my freshman year coach and also my club coach outside of school. Not only did she teach us the skills necessary to be outstanding lacrosse players, but she taught us to work hard and to push each other all while having fun on the field.
“She also told us to always give back to the sport, which I have been doing by coaching.