All-Mets Zoe Stukenberg, Alex McKay of Marriotts Ridge take different paths to Maryland

After four varsity girls’ lacrosse seasons and two Maryland 3A/2A state titles together at Marriotts Ridge, seniors Zoe Stukenberg and Alex McKay are together again on the All-Met squad. They will stay teammates next season with both signed at the University of Maryland.

“Eight years together?” Stukenberg said with a laugh during the recent All-Met photo shoot. “Wow, we’re halfway done.”

Both coveted recruits, Stukenberg and McKay ended up with the same college pick, but the teammates were no package deal.

Stukenberg, a repeat All-Met and three-time Howard County Player of the Year, wanted to enjoy the process. At a time when many players race to offer oral commitments, the midfielder waited until her junior year had begun before making a decision.


Zoe Stukenberg finished her senior season with 75 goals and 46 assists to earn repeat All-Met honors. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Stukenberg also considered several Ivy League schools and Florida before Maryland and Johns Hopkins emerged as finalists. Though both of her parents graduated from Hopkins, she went with Maryland, preferring the big-school atmosphere.

“You’re never going to get another opportunity in your life to have all these people telling you how awesome you are,” Stukenberg said. “It was the greatest three months of my life. … I felt lucky to have so many good options, and I was just soaking it in.”

On the other hand, McKay locked in on North Carolina early, making her commitment as a sophomore. The athletic defender eventually flipped her commitment to Maryland, the school both of her parents had attended. She plans to major in computer science and possibly Spanish.

“I fell in love with North Carolina, it was so beautiful and academically strong,” McKay said. “I think I got nervous that it wasn’t going to last. It felt like it was too good to be true.”

By the spring 2015 season, the Maryland women’s lacrosse team could feature as many as five graduates of the eight-year-old Marriottsville school.

Goalie Abbey Clipp, a redshirt sophomore, was a back-up in net this spring at Maryland, while 2012 All-Met Molly Fleming made eight appearances on defense in her freshman college season. The Terps capped the year with a 13-12 triple overtime loss to North Carolina in the national championship game.

Junior attacker Taylor Hensh has given an oral commitment to play for the team, too.

Stukenberg and McKay, who also will play together in July’s Under Armour All-America Classic, downplayed the pipeline between the Mustangs and the Terps.

Stukenberg said she liked the idea of a fresh start at the next level and initially counted the large contingent of familiar faces as a negative, but she understands why so many local players choose to stay close to home.

“The school’s on the rise,” Stukenberg said. “Its rankings are going up in pretty much everything. [Coach Cathy Reese] is great, and the competition is amazing, too. … It’s great to kind of hitch your wagon to a school like that.”

Related: 2013 Spring All-Mets

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Roman Stubbs · June 7, 2013