Last spring, Zoe Stukenberg was a senior standout for the University of Maryland women’s lacrosse team, leading the Terrapins to a 23-0 season and their third Div. I national championship in four years.
After scoring 53 goals with 21 assists, Stukenberg won the Tewaaraton Award, given annually to the country’s most outstanding college lacrosse player. It marked the sixth straight year a Terrapin took home the award.
This spring, the Baltimore Sun’s Katherine Dunn reports, has already marked an entirely different lacrosse experience for Stukenberg. She is coaching the girls lacrosse team at Baltimore’s Patterson High School, where she is in her first year with Teach for America.
The Sun reports that the school hadn’t fielded a team since 2013, and that this year’s team is one of just eight in the city – up from five a year ago.
“It was a huge part of my high school and my college experience,” Stukenberg told the Sun. “I just was pumped at the idea of having a team here and letting the girls fall in love with the sport that meant so much to me and still means so much to me.”
A 2013 graduate of Marriotts Ridge (Marriottsville, Md.), Stukenberg has started with teaching the basics to the team members. As the Sun reports, the team members had no idea of exactly what their coach had accomplished in the sport until they Googled her.
Tamiera Brown, a sophomore who started the season only wanting to be the team manager, joined the team after Stukenberg’s encouragement
“Seeing her at practice makes us want to be like her,” Brown told the Sun. “When she does her tricks, I’m like ‘I’m going to learn how to do that. I’m going to be like you.’ I’m going to be better than her so I can go against her and I can win.”
Stukenberg, who will play this summer with the New York Flight in the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League, is also teaching ninth- and 10th-grade biology at the school.
“I love hearing, ‘Can I take my stick home? Oh, I played wall ball this weekend with my brother,’ It’s funny because that’s what I did all of high school. I was always shooting around,” Stukenberg told the Sun. “That’s how I kind of fell in love with lacrosse and it’s been really cool to see some of the girls fall in love with it, too.”
The Clippers open their season at home Friday afternoon against defending city champion Baltimore City College.
You can read the rest of the Sun’s well-reported piece here.