Feb. 18, 2013
This July, Boston College will be represented in the 2013 Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup in Ontario by former Eagle midfielder Kristin Igoe.
The Framingham, Mass., native made the U.S National Team after almost two years of rigorous and stressful tryouts. During that time, Igoe has been one of about 40 players who have trained year round for this opportunity. This year, that number was cut to 25 in November and then to 18 in January to finalize the roster for this summer.
"The process was a challenge because you never know what's going through the coaches' minds," Igoe said. "The lineups they make or where you play in practice weighs on your mind. Every player is kind of thinking, `what does this mean? Why I am playing on this line?' All those little things that happen, the players try to guess what it means. I did my best to just play and not worry about it but the stakes were so high."
The reward made all the worrying worth it and Igoe is excited for the chance to represent her family, her friends, her alma mater and her country in the World Cup. Once she made the team, her focus shifted immediately to preparing for the competition and the emotions that will come with playing for the national team.
"Some of the veteran players have talked about when they hear the national anthem during the first game it's an overwhelming experience so I'm just looking forward to that," Igoe said. "I know it's cliché but I'm looking forward to wearing the red, white and blue."
Igoe feels that her time at the Heights will prepare her for the competition she will face in the later rounds of the tournament. She sees the Atlantic Coast Conference as one of the top conferences and believes that she faced some of the best teams in the country while at BC. She also has been getting advice from Eagles head coach, Acacia Walker, who played for the gold-medal national team in 2009.
"She reminds me to do what I do best when I play," Igoe said of Walker's advice. "She is a really positive person. She is always there to give advice. She knows what I do well and she is always reminding me to do those little things. She has the experience so hearing what she has to say is helpful to me."
While Igoe sees stiff competition coming deep in the tournament from teams like Australia, England, and Canada, she thinks the U.S. will fare well in the early rounds. For her and her teammates, it is all about making it to the end and coming out with the win.
"We've basically been training for that gold medal game for three or four years," Igoe said. "It's going to all come down to that and I think the coaches have prepared us well. We're going to have to fight hard but have fun at the same time."
It should not be hard for her to enjoy herself as Igoe says she has become close with many of her teammates, especially those from Massachusetts and the Boston area. Igoe should also get a boost from the crowd as she says a group of her friends are planning a road trip up to Canada to cheer her on.
While she waits for the summer to roll around, Igoe is working at Franklin High School as a lacrosse coach. The season has not started yet so she has mostly been preparing for the spring but Igoe is ready to learn what being a coach is about. She has been coaching some of her future Franklin players on the club indoor team, the Mass Mavericks.
As Igoe transitions from the field to the sideline, she is excited to teach her players new skills and learn more about the game and herself.
"I have learned so much from my BC coaches and my U.S. coaches that I want to pass on to my high school team," Igoe said. "It will help that I play because I can relate to the girls and I wasn't in high school too long ago so I know what they're going through."
Becoming a coach was an easy decision for Igoe, who could not be away from the game she has come to love. She sees lacrosse as a fast growing, fun, competitive sport that is constantly evolving.
"I couldn't leave the sport, I just couldn't," Igoe said. "Once I started in high school, I don't think I could leave it - whether being a player or a coach - I had to be involved somehow. Coaching will be new but it's a way to stay involved and help raise the next generation of players."
While she will be working to get the Franklin High team as far as possible this season, the World Cup this summer will be in the back of her mind. Igoe plans to improve her stick skills and her strength and endurance leading up to July's tournament, but she knows the key will be to stay calm.
"I just want to go out there, play loose and not think about anything," Igoe said. "I have to just focus on what I have learned and hopefully we can win the gold medal."
Written by senior Eddie Lockhart