By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/7/12
Thanks to scholarships from the Pennsylvania Area Schoolgirls lacrosse Association (PASLA), four members of the second-year Academy Park varsity squad attended Saturday’s the Philly Girls Showcase at Westtown School.
Juniors Memuna Sillah (midfielder), Gabby Lee (midfielder), Brianna Robinson (defender) and the injured Megan Barlow (goalie) called the event a major step in helping build a program that showed great improvement last year with three victories in its first season of varsity action.
Sillah believes the experience of playing against top competition will only help her teammates continue to build.
“We have a new team; we always wanted lacrosse,” she said. “Now that we have it we want to compete with the best.
“We are working hard and we’re really looking to improve our skills to compete with players from all over the country.”
The Philly Showcase featured 225 elite players, mostly in the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016, from 14 states. The event was capped by two Fab 40 All-Star Games.
Sillah, who has played the sport for only several years, said the move from JV to varsity under coach Susan Reutter was a major step for Academy Park.
“We transitioned well in our first varsity season,” she said. “We are still not like other teams that have played a long time. Hopefully in the future we’ll get a middle school to help our legacy.
“I love lacrosse and I so happy when I learned we were getting the sport. Mrs. Reutter has worked us hard to get us where we are now.”
Sillah admitted that the competition Saturday was keen.
“I have to work on cutting to my left,” she said. “I have to work on talking and communications as well as groundballs and basic fundamentals. I am still getting there.”
Lee, who began playing in ninth grade, said she communication is a challenge with new and highly-skilled players.
“I came here last year and I see I made a big step forward,” she said. “It was a really good feeling to compete, but it was hard.
“It’ a challenge. It’s hard to talk when you don’t know each other’s names and they use you in a new position. The most important thing is talking (on the field).”
What’s her goal for the 2013 season?
“The goal is to win the Del-Val and beat Interboro.”
Robinson got a lot of playing time as a close defender. She was impressed with the skill levels of her fellow competitors.
“I have to work on my basic skills,” she said. “I haven’t played much lacrosse and it’s a great experience to play against girls that have been playing their entire lives.
“These girls are very good! They are fast and skilled. I think it’s been great to play since I have never seen this type of competition. I have really enjoyed this.”
Barlow, who also competed last year at the Showcase, was unable to play due to a pulled groin muscle.
“I think that, personally, I made a big step from last year,” she said, noting she was among the county’s leaders in saves in 2012. “I have talked to some college coaches and actually one is here to watch me. I had to tell her I couldn’t play.”
Tags: Academy Park