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Globe South Sports Notebook

Local lacrosse stars still love competing after college

Sarah Albrecht Sarah Albrecht (Jay Connor for The Boston Globe)
By Steve Crowe
October 17, 2010

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Lacrosse stars still elite competitors

The commercial often runs during the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament in March: “most college athletes go pro in something other than sports.’’

For the majority, the college experience more often than not marks the end of playing competitive athletics.

Thayer Academy graduate Sarah Albrecht and former Westwood High star Kristen Kjellman are still competing at the highest level. After starring on the lacrosse field at Northwestern University, and propelling the Wildcats to a pair of NCAA Division 1 titles in 2005 and 2006, the two are teaming up for the defending world champion US women’s national team.

Albrecht and Kjellman headlined the recent annual Stars and Stripes Lacrosse weekend held at Harvard, in which the US women squared off against the host Crimson, along with Boston College and Boston University in split-squad scrimmages.

On top of their exhibition games, the national team held youth clinics last Sunday morning at Harvard Stadium and the adjoining Cumnock Field.

“It was a cool atmosphere playing under the lights, and it was great to see all the kids,’’ said Albrecht of the matchup against host Harvard Saturday night. “We played real well on Sunday. We had some jitters early on with some of the young players, but we came together and generated a lot of opportunities for ourselves.’’

Playing opportunities do not come as often these days for Albrecht, who was one of the top scorer’s at the Prague Cup in June 2008 and named to the FIL All-World team in 2009 after scoring 14 goals and dishing out three assists in seven games. While she has been a member of the national team four straight seasons, her duties as the associate women’s coach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst take up most of her time.

Any opportunity to play is welcomed with open arms.

“I don’t play in women’s leagues, it’s tough for girls who have real jobs,’’ Albrecht said. “I do practice with the UMass team, but everyday I go to work and see the team play and how much fun they have.’’

While Albrecht misses playing full time, she loves her new position at UMass, in which she is assisting her former Northwestern teammate Angela McMahon. The pair previously worked as assistants at UMass in 2007 before Albrecht went to work at Harvard for three seasons.

“The opportunity at Harvard gave me more responsibilities, it was a chance for me to develop my coaching skills,’’ she said. “But I came back to coach with Angela. We know each other so well and helped build the system at UMass together in 2007. We trust each other and are pretty interchangeable and have the same philosophy for offensive and defensive units.’’

The competition at the Stars and Stripes weekend will have to suffice for now. Albrecht said the national team will not reconvene until they practice in November, and the World Cup is three years away.

“The Stars and Stripes weekend was a good first event for us, getting to know the new players and a feel for how they play,’’ she said. “Getting on the field was great. I appreciate it more every time I get on the field and have some competition.’’

Honors for Regan
Stonehill College freshman Emily Regan of Hanson was named the Northeast-10 Conference’s Rookie of the Week for women’s cross-country after finishing first among Division 2 freshmen runners at the New England Championships at Franklin Park.

Regan covered the 5K course in 19:32 to finish 126th (out of 322) and sixth among all D2 runners.

Stonehill is ranked 21st in the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association D2 national poll and first in the East Region.

Golden is on top
Wentworth junior forward John Golden, a Cardinal Spellman grad from Abington, had started 11 of the Leopards’ first 12 soccer games this season and was the team’s top scorer with four goals and three assists going into last Wednesday’s game at the University of New England.

“John’s an exceptionally fast player and hard worker, said head coach Bob Long, a Randolph native who currently resides in Brockton. “He has the ability to hold on to the ball and to distribute to teammates, making him a double threat.’’

Last year, Golden scored the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Lesley in the ECAC quarterfinals and the game’s only goal against Castleton in the finals to give Wentworth its first ECAC title.

Cardoza recognized
Bridgewater State junior Julie Cardoza (Easton) was named the Little East Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week for field hockey. Cardoza made the game-saving stop with just over four minutes to go to seal a 2-1 win over Fitchburg State.

Cardoza and the defense have carried the Bears during a five-game winning streak, allowing just one goal in each game. BSU was 6-4 through 10 games and in third place in the LEC at 5-1.

Praise for Misho
Quincy’s Glen Misho was named the Intercity Baseball League’s Rookie Pitcher of the Year after compiling a 4-1 record and 1.00 earned run average for the Testa Corporation Bombers of East Boston. The Catholic Memorial High grad also takes the mound for the University of Massachusetts.

Steve Crowe can be reached at crowe.steven@yahoo.com. Marvin Pave contributed to this report.