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Lacrosse club holds its own in Cascade Cup tournament

By: Matt Long
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Two years ago El Dorado Hills resident Debi Shaeffer saw a need for summer and fall opportunities for girls in the sport of lacrosse and started the American River Lacrosse Club with just a handful of players. After starting out with a competitive high school team in 2009, the club has since added a middle school team in 2010 and now recreational and youth teams this summer. In two years the club has grown to include 90 players and about one-third of those players recently returned from the Cascade Cup in Snohomish, Wash. and more than held their own competing against top teams from the Pacific Northwest region. The middle school team, coached by Jodi Hamilton and Jordynn Wood, placed third in their division. The team went undefeated in pool play, defeating the Seattle Rainz, 13-6, Bainbridge Island, 10-7 and the Rhino Rosebuds, 10-8, before being eliminated in the semifinals by the Rosebuds, 14-13. The middle school team ended up placing third in the tournament. The team consists of mainly players from El Dorado Hills, but also features players from Folsom, Granite Bay, Latrobe and Fair Oaks. Playing in front of many college coaches, the high school team, coached by Nathan Hendel and Eldore Wood with players from El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Folsom, Granite Bay, Rocklin, Roseville and Sacramento, got excellent exposure with college recruiters from NCAA Division I programs such as USC, Oregon, Monmouth and recruiters from a few Division III schools as well. The team didn’t have the success that the middle school team had, dropping three of four games, but they also were matched up against the top-three teams in their division. American River lost games to Snohomish Red, 13-7, Lax NW Rippers Green, 11-7 and Rhino Rose, 12-10, before rebounding to win their final game against the Victoria Breakers, 13-7. “The team roared back with the win over the Victoria Breakers from Canada,” Shaeffer said. “The Canadian players are tough stock; they don’t wear eye guards and play very physically. It was a hard-fought game against a strong Canadian team and it was a great win to end their tournament. “I’m so proud of the way our American River players represented our foothills community,” Shaeffer continued. “It was an amazing weekend full of sightseeing in Seattle, spirited competition, and camaraderie among teams from the entire Pacific Northwest. We’re looking forward to returning to this event in 2012.” Members of the high school team include Jessica Hanson, Morgan Janice and Arielle Spring (EDH), Savannah Hadley (Elk Grove), Nicole Terry and Tessa Oliaro (Folsom), Lauren Molina, Megan Taylor, Lauren Webster, Sam Huhtala and Haley Ribota (Granite Bay), Brayden Weninger (Rocklin), Laura Farris, Alatna Walsh and Tayryn Edwards (Roseville) and Janie Sadler, Celeste Holben and Rebecca Walker (Sacramento). Members of the middle school team include Brianne Gross, Delani Carlson, Laurel Maunder, Kathryn Zinser, Peyton Bilo, Bailey Eastman, Claire Freeman, Madisyn Hallare, Hayley Kusserow and Madison Topping (El Dorado Hills), Maggie Anderson (Fair Oaks), Samantha Donaghey (Folsom), Noelle Tamas and Emily Torris (Granite Bay) and Sarah Westover (Latrobe).