By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/2/11
Episcopal Academy senior attack Blake McHugh has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at NCAA power Northwestern.
McHugh scored 62 goals last year and earned First Team Inter-Ac League and Honorable Mention All-American honors, helping EA claim its sixth straight league title. She plays club lacrosse for the Phantastix.
McHugh will join a Northwestern squad that won the national title five straight years (2005-09) before bowing to Maryland in the title game last year. The Wildcats are coached by Kelly Amonte Hiller.
McHugh, an Honor Roll student who also considered Brown, chose Northwestern due to its academic reputation, lacrosse program and the presence of Amonte Hiller as a mentor and leader.
“It has such a renowned academic program, which is the same reason I chose to attend Episcopal,” said McHugh, who is considering Political Science and Economics as possible majors. “Plus, Kelly is a family person and reminds me of my mom (Suzanne).
“My mother has always been a positive influence and I like that Kelly is a strong family person. Her husband (Scott) is an assistant coach (volunteer) and she is the type of coach I always wanted.”
McHugh believes Amonte Hiller – a two-time National Player of the Year and two-time National champion while a player at Maryland – can maximize her potential.
“My main goal for college was to find a coach that can make me the best player I can be,” McHugh said. “She started her own history by winning five national championships.”
Amonte Hill said, “Blake has had an excellent high school career. She has a great work ethic and that’s what has made the girls here at Northwestern successful.”
McHugh was thankful her mother got her started in lacrosse at the middle school level by starting a program at St. Mary Magdalen School in Media.
“She started the program when I was in Kindergarten and she took me to practice every day, so I grew up around lacrosse,” said McHugh, who has 180 career goals and also had 77 groundballs last yea. “She helped a lot of girls get started in lacrosse. Many of them have gone on to play at amazing colleges.”
McHugh is the fourth EA senior to commit to a Division I college; the others are midfielder Taylor Trimble (Duke), defender Maggie Forker (Vanderbilt) and midfielder Claire MacManus (Cornell). Also, defender Allie Clark has committed to Division III Gettysburg.
With the talent EA returns, McHigh is hoping her team can repeat.
“My goal, foremost, is obviously to win the Inter-Ac again,” she said. ‘We’ve won it all three years. We’d like to go undefeated, but more importantly i want to see is become the best players we can be.”