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McDowell High School Girls Lacrosse is a competitive high school lacrosse program for McDowell students in grades 9–12.
We are a Varsity, PIAA-recognized program that competes in the District 10 region and has a variety of games against teams in New York, Western Pennsylvania and Ohio.
We are one of the top lacrosse programs in Erie, having earned a District 10 Title seven out of eight years. Outside of competing in the area, we are dedicated to developing responsible student-athletes who understand the importance of teamwork, commitment, responsibility, discipline, competition and giving back to the community.
Keep reading to learn more about our program. If you are interested in joining McDowell Girls Lacrosse, register for the off-season. Registering for the off-season entails no cost or obligation. It lets us know that you're interested, and it will allow you to receive emails from the club about upcoming dates and events!
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us!
Our Program
Our official season starts in the Spring, however, we offer optional programming all-year long for those who are not participating in other sports.
Fall Ball
September and October
Fall Ball focuses on building players' fundamental skills and form. We typically have two practices a week, and we compete in at least one tournament in late September or early October. Cost: There is no fee to participate in fall ball, but there are a couple of expenses: $25 for a McDowell Girls Lacrosse shirt that you will wear at the tournament, and a registration fee for the tournmanet (probably around $50).
Winter Practices and Conditioning
January and February
Winter Season includes one weekly indoor practice, one weekly conditioning session and the opportunity to participate in Winter League on Sundays.
Spring Season
March, April and May
This is our official season, with mandatory practices. We practice five days a week from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., with occasional 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm practices. We practice outdoor on Hanlon and Gus Anderson Fields, unless weather moves us inside.
We have 16–18 games a season with games on weekends. You can look at last year's schedule to get a sense of what our season looks like.
Since we are not fully funded by the District, there is a cost to play during the Spring. Cost: $400. The club fees cover all of the expenses involved in running our spring season: coaches' salaries, referee fees, each girl's US Lacrosse registration, hotel lodging (when necessary), reversibles, uniforms, rental space (when needed), snacks and water for away games, and tournament entry fees. There is also a $150 deposit for the uniform, but as long as we get the uniform back at the end of the season, we do not cash that check.
We offer several fundraising opportunities in the fall and winter, and a portion of each player's fundraising goes directly toward her dues. We have had players who have completely covered their club fees through fundraising!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there tryouts?
No, we do not have tryouts — we want to give as many girls as possible to chance to play lacrosse. However, bus space for away games is limited. If we excede a certain number of total players on the roster, there might be some players who will not be able to travel on the bus to away games. (We have never had to do this in the past.)
The first two weeks of spring season are considered "tryouts" for the purpose of making the Junior Varsity or the Varsity team. Team selections are decided based on attitude, commitment to the team, skills, and attendance.
Please note the following:
  • No position is guaranteed.
  • Grade levels and previous Varsity experience have no bearing on Varsity selections. Seniors and previous Varsity players can play Junior Varsity.
  • There is the opportunity to move up throughout the season.
  • Playing time is not guaranteed and will be based on attitude, attendance and skill.
What are the player expectatons?
All players are expected to do the following:
  • Comply with the PIAA school attendance rule
  • Be at school by the end of first block/period (8:50 a.m.)
  • Pass five courses or the equivalent
  • Be respectful and demonstrate Positive Player Behaviors on Social Media
  • Steer away from fighting, use of drug or alcohol and hazing. McDowell has a Zero Tolerance rule for these behaviors
  • Attend practices and games. Players should work with Coach in advance of missed games / practices
  • Communicate with Coach on tardiness, absences, etc.
  • Be a team player
  • Be respectful
  • Ride the bus to games
  • Work with McDowell trainers if injured
Varsity Expectations
Beyond attitude, commitment, skill, and attendance, players who wish to make the Varsity team are expected to have the following skills:
  • Can accurately and consistently throw, catch and cradle with BOTH hands
  • Demonstrates knowledge and complete understanding of team plays for offense and defense
  • Demonstrates ability to physically compete at Varsity level
  • Shows GRIT and COACHABILITY
  • Works for the betterment of the team
What equipment does my daughter need?
There are three essentials: a women's lacrosse stick, a pair of goggles, and a mouthguard.
The club owns sticks that your daughter may borrow when she first starts — that way, she can decide whether she likes the sport before you invest in a stick. Sticks range from $30 starter sticks to $250+ high-end sticks. The starter sticks are perfect for beginners.
You will have to purchase a mouthguard, which you can find at Dick's for $10–20. You will also need to purchase goggles, which you can buy for as little as $30.
I've never played before, and I'm nervous to come out. What should I do?
There are various off-season opportunities to learn the game. If you want to set-up small group instructions, contact Coach Marissa.