While Lightfoot’s skills are unique, her story is not uncommon. Cavaliers Coach Meg Jarrell estimates that more than half of her squad plays a primary sport other than hockey. And she doesn’t discourage it.
“Honestly, I want them to play other sports,” Jarrell said. “Their lacrosse skills are helpful on the field hockey field. Their soccer skills are really helpful for field vision.”
A soccer injury put senior Logan Darr’s career in jeopardy. She tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during the spring of her sophomore year but has worked her way back to become part of Woodson’s mix in 2013.
Darr says she recovered at a blistering pace — running again after only four months — but relegated herself to the sidelines during her junior hockey season as a player assistant.
That stint, during which she kept an open eye and toiled at her stick skills, is starting to pay off.
“You can see so many more things from watching the game, and I’m a visual person,” Darr said.
She tallied two assists in Woodson’s 3-0 win over West Potomac Tuesday.
Darr’s experience with field hockey prior to high school consisted of one skills camp her mother forced her to attend leading up to freshman tryouts.
“If I had started early, I probably could have been much better,” she said.
The lack of hockey tread on players’ tires disadvantages them even more because it’s a sport that comes complete with a set of complicated and nuanced rules.
“In previous years, we haven’t really known a lot of the rules even halfway through the season,” Lightfoot said.
But Jarrell — whose Cavaliers have already doubled up on district wins compared to 2012 — knows these girls are already talented athletes, if not field hockey players.
“A lot of these girls have been playing soccer since they were eight, they’ve been playing lacrosse since they were eight, and they picked up field hockey a little later on,” she said. “We try to get ’em as early as we can.”
Rankings: The Post Top 10
Severna Park went 1-1 in two top 10 matches in three days, falling to Westfield 1-0 and beating rival South River, 2-0. . . . Glenelg scored two goals in the second half to win at Atholton, 3-2. . . . St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes remains the only ranked team without a loss. . . .
Herndon moves into the rankings on the strength of its eight-game win streak.
1. South River (6-1) LW: 1
2. Glenelg (5-2) LW: 3
3. South County (7-2) LR:4
4. Westfield (8-2) LW: 5
5. Severna Park (4-1) LW: 4
6. Broadneck (5-2) LW: 7
7. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (7-0)
8. Atholton (4-2) LW: 6
9. Walter Johnson (4-0) LW: 9
10. Herndon (9-1) LW: NR
Bubble: Fairfax (6-3), Sherwood (6-0), Mount Hebron (7-0-1)