SNOHOMISH — In the growing sport of lacrosse, there is a growing pool of top young talent right here in Snohomish County.
The Snohomish Lacrosse Club’s varsity girls team, comprised of students from Snohomish, Glacier Peak and Archbishop Murphy high schools, competes in the 33-team Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association (WSLA). The league released a 12-member all-state team before the spring season began and three Snohomish players were honored — Kayla Petz of Glacier Peak, who plays attack; midfielder Hanna Dalrymple of Glacier Peak, and defensive player Hailey Nyquist of Snohomish.
The trio, all seniors and each in her fourth season on the varsity, are a big reason Snohomish is off to a promising 4-1 start this year with hopes of making a run at a state championship.
Petz, Dalrymple and Nyquist “have all grown over the past three years to be the mainstays (of the team),” said Katie Carroll, the team’s head coach.
Lacrosse has yet to become a sanctioned high school sport in Washington, as it is elsewhere in the country, but club programs are thriving in the Puget Sound area. As an example, Snohomish Lacrosse has 15 teams for boys and girls in grades 1-12. There are similar programs around the county, including Everett, Mukilteo, Stanwood, Edmonds and Monroe, though not every program offers high school teams.
And although lacrosse might seem odd, even quirky to the uninitiated, it combines all the best elements of sports — in particular, speed and excitement — while helping kids improve endurance and hand-eye coordination.
Carroll grew up playing lacrosse in her native Maryland, where the sport is extremely popular. As a high school player she was good enough to earn a lacrosse scholarship to Georgetown University, where she played four seasons before turning to coaching.
“In general,” she said, “it’s great to get girls out doing active sports, and (lacrosse) is an incredibly active one. It’s just a fun and fast sport. These kids are passing and catching at a full sprint.”
Dalrymple, who will attend St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., next year on a lacrosse scholarship, started playing in the third grade. At the outset, she said, “I had no idea what lacrosse was. But now my whole family is in it (her sister Emily plays at the University of Redlands in California and her father Ray is a Snohomish assistant coach). We’re kind of a lacrosse family.”
The appeal of lacrosse, Nyquist said, “is that it’s not like any other sport. It’s so fast-paced. There’s always something going on. Even if goals aren’t being scored, there’s always action.”
The Snohomish girls varsity has been a top WSLA contender in recent years, reaching the state semifinals three years ago and the quarterfinals the past two seasons. The team has several seniors in addition to Petz, Dalrymple and Nyquist, and there are hopes of a championship this season, though rivals from the Seattle area, notably Eastside and Bainbridge Island, will be formidable.
“I think we’re pretty good this year, and I think we have a chance to go pretty far in the playoffs,” Petz said. “Hopefully all the way. That would mean a lot to me and I know it’d mean a lot to this team. It’s what (the seniors) have been looking forward to ever since freshman year.
“I don’t want to jinx it,” she added, “but I think our team could do it if we work really hard.”
“When we were freshmen we had a really big senior class,” said Nyquist, who will attend Regis University in Denver next year on a lacrosse and cross country scholarship. “We had such a strong team. And I don’t know if the other seniors feel like this, but we kind of feel that now we’re that senior class and it’s our time.
“We’ve all grown up playing lacrosse together, we’re all really close friends, and it’d mean a lot to win it together before we all go off to college.”