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Meghan Cunningham pursues her passion for lacrosse across the pond

Photo credit: Bridget Barsanti, Arts Editor

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Senior Meghan Cunningham has recently made the U-19 Scotland National Team. She has been playing lacrosse since third grade, after she was introduced to lacrosse by her older cousin, who also taught her the fundamentals of the sport. Meghan’s fascination of the sport led her to sign up for the DOCS NYC Lacrosse program.

Although the team lost every game by a lot due to the more competitive suburban teams, Meghan loved playing for DOCS. “I didn’t really mind losing, I just enjoyed playing lacrosse,” Meghan said. In 7th grade, lacrosse became more serious for Meghan as she started thinking about high school. “I had to start making decisions about the future and whether or not I wanted to continue playing lacrosse,” she said.

“Obviously I wanted to pursue lacrosse and thought that it would probably be even more fun if you won the games, or even had a chance of winning,” Meghan said. Her family friends from New Jersey played lacrosse and introduced her to a club program, T3 Elite Lacrosse. This gave her much more exposure to lacrosse, as well as the college recruitment process. “T3 is also how I heard about the Hackley Lacrosse program. Lacrosse was a big factor of why I applied to Hackley and came here,” she stated.

Meghan decided to try out for the U-19 team in March because she had grown out of the T3 Lacrosse Program. She also saw it as an opportunity to keep lacrosse in her life beyond college. One of her friends from Scotland was playing for the U-19 team, so it was something she was interested in for a while. Meghan emailed the coach last September to introduce herself. Meghan attended one of the four selection weekends from March 10-12.

“There are several training sessions throughout the year on weekends, that go from 8 am to 6 pm. We are expected to be playing at the highest level at our schools, keep up with the workout packet, as well as an eating schedule,” Meghan stated. This year is an “off year” because there isn’t a World Championship, so it is more relaxed.

Meghan has loved playing for the team so far. “The team is competitive, but all the girls are super nice,” Meghan stated. Most of her teammates attend boarding school in Scotland. Although she is primarily a defender at Hackley, she has played midfield for the U-19 team.

“As a lacrosse player, no matter what position you are you have to be able to do anything and be willing to jump in wherever you are needed,” Meghan said.

Despite all this excitement, lacrosse can be nerve-wracking to her at times. “I go phases of emotions before every game no matter what team I am playing on or who we are playing.” She starts off relaxed, then gets excited during warm ups, and right before the game starts she gets butterflies in her stomach. “Once the whistle blows I stop thinking and just play,” Meghan said.

She has also loved seeing the sport continue to expand throughout the world. “Before I was selected, I considered lacrosse an American and Canadian sport. So, it was really cool to see that there are so many people around the world in countries like Wales, Japan, Czech Republic, New Zealand, and Sweden, that love and play lacrosse at a high level and are committed to growing the game of lacrosse.”

Meghan will turn nineteen in August, which will make her no longer eligible for the U-19 team, but she will be eligible for the senior team. However, she is playing lacrosse at Connecticut College, which starts in the fall, so she does not yet know if it is possible to continue playing for Scotland.

Meghan Cunningham

Meghan playing midfield for the Scottish national team.

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The voice of the Hackley student body
Meghan Cunningham pursues her passion for lacrosse across the pond