By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/25/10
Strath Haven rising senior midfielder Alex Duckenfield has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at Vanderbilt University.
Duckenfield was a first-team All-Central League pick and an Academic All-American for a squad that shared the Central League crown with Radnor and Springfield-Delco and advanced to the state tournament.
Duckenfield had 64 goals, 42 assists, 100 groundballs and 76 draw controls this year. She has been selected to play in the Under Armour Underclassmen Games and was a member of the Philly 1 team that placed third at the National Tournament during Memorial Day Weekend.
Duckenfield, who also considered Georgetown, Stanford and Penn State, is undecided on a major but is leaning toward education or business.
“I loved the team chemistry and out of all the schools I looked at I bonded the most with them,” she said of her visit to Nashville, Tenn. “Their team chemistry reminded me of our team.
“(Head coach) Cathy (Swezey) and (assistant) Amber (Falcone) are awesome coaches.”
This year Vanderbilt went 12-6 and fell to Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Vanderbilt has a strong Philly flavor. The Commodores’ roster currently includes rising juniors Kelly and Kacie Connors (Radnor) and rising sophomore Olivia Goodman (Agnes Irwin). Incoming freshmen include Radnor’s Alyssa Dunlap and Ellie Karus and Hatboro-Horsham’s Sarah Tustin. Also, Episcopal Academy rising senior defender Maggie Forker recently committed to Vanderbilt.
Duckenfield said the Panthers exceeded many people’s expectations in 2010. Strath reached the state finals in 2009, but had to regroup after losing Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year Emily Garrity and coach Margie Garrity. Duckenfield’s mother, former assistant Jen Duckenfield, took over the job as head coach this year.
This season’s highlight was a 9-8 overtime victory over eventual state champion Radnor – the Red Raiders’ lone defeat.
“We knew we were underdogs and that fueled everyone,” said Duckenfield, who plays club lacrosse for Ultimate Goal. “People thought we would barely break the .500 mark and that united us.
“That’s how we beat Radnor. We all played together. Many of us have been playing together since we were little. My mom has coached us since we were 5th graders at Haven Youth Lacrosse.
“Coach Duck was a big part of our success. I would see her at 2 a.m. in the morning watching game films, trying to figure out how to beat teams.”
Tags: Strath Haven