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Lacrosse's Stanwick Comes from a Long Line of Lacrosse Players

Freshman Covie Stanwick

Freshman Covie Stanwick

March 19, 2012

Covie Stanwick can still remember traveling to Georgetown almost every weekend to watch her older sister, Sheehan, play lacrosse. Only five years old at the time, Covie wasn't always glued to the action, but the sport still made quite the impression on the little girl with the big bow in her hair who used to roam around the stands rather than sit in one place.

These days, Covie is still in constant motion but in a more productive way. Watch her play lacrosse and the first thing you'll notice about the Boston College freshman is that she's often in the center of the action on the field.

Following in the footsteps of five older siblings who all played Division I may seem daunting to some, but Covie is game because of her willingness to be an offensive quarterback. And don't forget that lacrosse runs in her blood and that some of her best competition came in her own backyard.

The Baltimore-based Stanwicks have become synonymous with college lacrosse. Four are All-Americans and four played in at least one Final Four during their time in college. Sheehan, the oldest, was inducted into the Greater Baltimore Lacrosse Hall of Fame this year and older brother Steele is currently the senior captain of No. 1 Virginia.

Covie, who is the seventh of the eight Stanwick siblings, often makes lacrosse look easy, just like her siblings did. One of two freshman to make the starting lineup for No. 14 BC, she is currently tied for the lead in points on the team with 29 (17 goals, 12 assists). She holds the Notre Dame Prep career points record with 380 and topped her talented older sisters Sheehan, Wick and Coco, who all went there and would go on to play DI at Georgetown, in the process.

"She's a much better lacrosse player than I was, and I'm sure she could teach me a few things," Sheehan Stanwick Burch said of her little sister. "I still can't believe she's old enough to play in college, and it's been so good to see her success and see her realize her dream to play at the college level."

All of the Stanwicks play attack, but Covie takes after the boys more than the girls in terms of her playing style. Since she is bigger than her petit, agile sisters, she's able to play a more physical game. And her toughness is off the charts because she was sandwiched between brothers.

Older brothers Steele and Wells, a freshman at Johns Hopkins, and little brother Shack, a sophomore in high school who is committed to Johns Hopkins, tested Covie constantly during their rough-and-tumble backyard games.

"It was definitely a challenge being surrounded by the boys," Covie said. "I was always outnumbered. I definitely got my attitude from playing with them."

"They didn't give her an inch of slack," Sheehan added, with a laugh.

As they got older, the Stanwick goal of "be the best you can be as fast as you can" came to the forefront. Sibling rivalries stayed in the backyard and even those games became more about giving each other pointers than finding ways to crush each other. With the help of the older siblings, Sheehan, Wick, Coco, Tad and even Steele (who Covie jokingly said was "a little too old to play with us" after awhile), the younger trio of Wells, Covie and Shack honed their games.

"I take what I can from each sibling," Covie explained. "I take parts of their game and what I can physically change. But we all have our own little differences, little hints of our own styles."

Fellow starting freshman Mikaela Rix, who also played with Covie on the U-19 squad that took home the gold medal at the 2011 FIL World Championships, noted that Covie shares with her siblings an uncanny ability to find her teammates and see the whole field.

"Her passes are phenomenal," Rix said. "She has such great accuracy. Even if you think you're not open she can still hit you and you're like, wow, that was a great pass."

Game-vision is something that the Stanwicks always talked about growing up and worked hard to develop. Seen as a bit of a lost art at the college level, Covie noted that this vision has been vital to her success over the years but that she can still always improve.

With striving to improve always in mind, the Stanwick siblings who have played DI are there to help their little siblings who are still fighting to uphold the family tradition. The Stanwicks are in constant communication with each other, whether it's through a flurry of text messages or a post-game phone call filled with advice.

While her sibling's influence has helped her reach this level, it has been Covie's passion for the sport and drive to be the best she can be that has sustained her over the years. And she's never felt any pressure to excel at the sport from anyone but herself.

"There's never been any pressure from my siblings or parents to play lacrosse," Covie explained. "I want to follow in their footsteps and be as good, if not better, than they ever were. It's pressure that I place on myself."

"From a very young age Covie always wanted to excel at everything she did," Sheehan added. "Her hard work and determination has made all the difference."

Hard work, passion and a fiery competitive streak will definitely help Covie carry the Stanwick mantle. And, if she ever needs an advice, she has seven siblings in her corner, just a phone call or text message away.

Written by Jen Dobias

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