In the movie ‘Wedding Crashers,’ a proud Old Line stater brags, “Crab cakes and football. That’s what Maryland does.”
He was right about the crab cakes (universally delicious), but he got the wrong sport. Maryland has always been all about lacrosse, and one need only glance at the current NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Final Four to see the impact that the region has had on the game.
As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the head coaches of Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina and James Madison all hail from Baltimore or the area immediately surrounding it. All four won state titles in high school and credit their upbringing for part of their later competitive success.
“It’s exciting that it’s spreading and there are different schools involved, but when you look at where we all came from, we’re all from home,” Boston College coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein told the Sun.
Walker-Weinstein, who went on to star at Maryland, hails from Annapolis. Maryland coach Cathy Reese (the most famous of the quartet) starred at Mount Hebron, Jenny Levy of North Carolina was once Jenny Slingluff of Roland Park and James Madison chief Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe was the standout at Loch Raven before embarking on a collegiate career at the school she now coaches.
Like Walker-Weinstein, Reese starred at Maryland. Levy played at Virginia. All four were All-Americans.
In a touching tribute, Walker-Weinstein credits her opponent in Friday night’s Boston College-Maryland as key to her motivation for becoming a coach.
“I was really inspired by the Maryland coaches, so I had really good relationships growing up with Cathy and Cindy,” Walker-Weinstein told the Sun. “I think I just really admired them and loved what kind of impact they made on younger players. I really loved them as people and I thought that I could see myself doing what they did.”
Now she’s doing just that, and will get to try and upstage her mentor under the brightest lights on Friday night. That she’s doing surrounded by three others with eerily similar geographic backgrounds speaks to just how dominant one region has become in women’s lacrosse.