Park City Ski-Town Shootout

Ten days ago I was at church, setting up for a Relief Society dinner, when I got a text message from Molly: Check your email ASAP. I expected some sort of an emergency. Instead I found an email telling me it was time to dust of my lacrosse stick and play in the Ski-Town Shootout in Park City June 20-21. She said there would only be one game on Friday and she would find me eye protection. I responded and told her I was in.

The last time I had played lacrosse was eight years ago at Utah State, where I spent two seasons on the team after Jodi convinced me to play. The thought of playing lacrosse again was so exciting, I couldn't stop grinning. A few days later she sent out another email with the schedule for the tournament. There was only one game on Friday. And THREE on Saturday. That was a little intimidating for one such as I, who is incredibly out of shape.

Well, I survived. In fact, I had a great time. Here we are, the Face Off Lax team:

We won our first three games and lost the fourth game to BYU in overtime. Here's how the games went:

Game 1
I intended to arrive in Park City at least an hour early, since I hadn't used a lacrosse stick for quite some time. But then I got a call from our pediatrician reminding me of Lucy's doctor appointment. In Logan. (Kindergarten check-up, and I'd already rescheduled twice, so changing it was not a possiblity.) Quick trip to Logan, dropped off Adam at Grandma's house, and we barely made it to Park City and found the field before the game started. Not the best start for a lady who could have really benefited from some warming up.

I lined up with the other girls to get my stick checked before the game and the umpire took a look at my wood stick and said, "I haven't seen one of these around for a long time." It had been hiding. In the toy bin in the garage. And has been most recently used to break pinatas, chase wasps, and paddle pretend boats. Thanks, Molly, for letting me borrow your stick, so as to avoid any further ridicule.

Rachel got to be the scorekeeper, but she was a little distracted by her ipod, so I kept having to yell from the field for her to add points. The girl I was guarding asked if she was my little sister. I told her she was my daughter, and she asked, "How old are you?!?" Too bad my granddaughter wasn't there too. That might have been funny.

Game 2
Overall, my body is actually a lot less sore than I expected it to be. However, at the end of the first half, I did take a violent knee to my quad muscle from Number 13 as she scored on me. Now I get to hobble up and down the stairs and scream every time Lucy comes and jumps on my lap. Number 13 wasn't too nice to me in the second half either. In fact, she yelled some obscene words at me a few times and, ultimately, subbed herself out of the game.

I wish I looked graceful in my action shot like so many of my other team members did. But I'm a defender, and defenders are supposed to look like scary giants, right? (Don't worry, after the game, we went to the store and I bought women's compression shorts. Ones that actually fit.)

Game 3
Before Game 3 I threw around with one of my teammates who played lacrosse for Notre Dame last season. She identified a critical mistake I was making, and if I get some more opportunities to play lacrosse, I might soon surpass my ball skills as a player at Utah State. By noon, it was past the drizzling stage and officially raining in Park City. I was soaked and cold, but still having fun. Steve was an incredibly good sport and didn't even complain about spending three hours in a parked car with the three kids.

Game 4
Playing against BYU was humbling. Their players were well conditioned and deceivingly fast. They were nice too... except for the one who clotheslined Molly's neck with her stick and didn't even get called on it. I got outrun down the field more than once. Unlike the other three games, the ball spent more time on our side of the field, which meant the defenders actually had to play most of the game. By Game 4, muscle exhaustion was kicking in, and I happily spent some time on the sidelines. Sadly, we lost a close one.

I have been involved with a number of organized sports: tennis, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, softball, and track. Lacrosse is not my strongest sport, but there are two things about it that I really love. First of all, it is a true team sport. It hasn't ever felt like someone on the team is trying to be the hero, and it hasn't ever felt like the team blames anyone for making a mistake. It always feels like the girls on the team are sincerely working together for the win. And second, there are a lot of really neat people who play lacrosse. The Claflin Family has been instrumental in expanding women's lacrosse in Utah, and I think Jen, Number 19, is credited with bringing the sport to Utah. What a neat group of women to associate with. Thanks again, Molly!


Jodi said...

Way to go Emily! Man, I wish I would have been there. It sounds like it was a great USU lax reunion! Those Claflins are power house players, but you hold your own too! I bet you were awesome, even after all this time.

Molly said...

Great post. I was way too lazy for a game to game run down.

I am so glad you had fun. i think we put together a sweet team and am so pleased with the outcome.

Jodi... I wish you were there too!

Your defensive skills after 9 years were impressive. I hope you play with us again!

The Ballard's said...

I am glad you posted that. I think your game face is awesome. Congrats. I am proud of you.

Amanda said...

Way to survive 4 games! I love your game face. It's my new favorite. And wasn't the rain insane? Were you there when it became a monsoon??? We finished the race just as it did and so then we were tired, sore, AND drenched.
But don't worry. We want to do it again next year. You in?