By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/13/14
Friends’ Central School’s Lauren Becker Rubin has been named the Phillylacrosse.com Girls’ Team Coach of the Year for 2014.
Becker Rubin guided the Phoenix to its first Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) Championship this spring with a 13-11 win over top-seeded Agnes Irwin. Friends’ Central entered the tourney as the No. 6 seed after being defeated by Germantown Friends, 10-8, in its bid for a fifth straight Friends Schools League title.
Becker Rubin has won five league championships and compiled a 118-57-2 record in 11 seasons at Friends’ Central without the luxury of many Division I players. This year’s team was riddled with injuries and had one player, senior Emma Dahle, that has committed to play college lacrosse (Brown University).
Dahle said Becker Rubin is a coach and mentor whose lessons go well beyond the lacrosse field.
“Friends’ Central is not a giant sports school and we don’t have 20 kids playing college lacrosse or even 20 kids playing club lacrosse,” said Dahle. “She cares so much about the program and about us as individuals.
“In the beginning of the year she tells us about the commitment and hard work it will take to be successful. The players really respect her and that speaks volumes about how we perform.
“She has three core values: attitude, effort and pride. She preaches these throughout the season and holds the team to them. She is so much more than a lacrosse coach and you get so much from being on her team. Playing lacrosse at Friends’ Central has truly been one of the best experiences and a transforming experience throughout my high school years.”
Dahle said Becker Rubin held the team together through the season despite the injuries and disappointment of the loss to Germantown Friends.
“After the loss to GFS, we all met after practice and she called a team meeting,” Dahle said. “She said, ‘Listen, I see how hurt you are, especially the seniors. Here’s an opportunity to come back and show what we are made of.’
“We decided we weren’t finished. We didn’t want to end on that note. This season shows what you can do as a team, when you are not about individuals. Coach gets everyone to contribute, from the first starter to the last player on the bench. There is not one single person that does not feel valued and that makes all the difference. She is one of the most inspirational people I know.”
Becker Rubin, a Friends’ Central grad, played lacrosse at Brown and then served as an assistant at West Chester, Goucher College and Friends’ School (MD). She was a volunteer assistant at Friends’ Central in 2000-01 and then took over as head coach in 2004.
Becker Rubin said her biggest task this year was pushing her players to overcome their fears and reach their potential.
“It was a really tough year because we had so many injuries to key players that had significant roles the year before,” she said. “I did a lot of confidence building. I believed in them a long time before they believed in themselves.
“I could see the potential and possibility, but I knew a few couldn’t carry us and that everyone needed to play to their potential. That took a really long time; they were playing with a lot of fear.
“By the championship game every player made a contribution. It was one of those days where we would put somebody in and they’d get the next draw control or the next groundball. They got comfortable with themselves and became confident.”
High Honorable Mention:
Jenny Purvis, Garnet Valley
Jill McCarthy, Lenape
Tags: Friends' Central