Once Sarah Bucher picked up a lacrosse stick, she never wanted to put it down.
Now, the soon-to-be Ward Melville lacrosse player, who will be heading into her freshman year of high school, will be playing in the Brine National Lacrosse Classic.
“It’s a confidence-booster and I feel proud,” Sarah said of making the 22-member team. “It’s a really big honor to be selected.”
During a one-day tryout for the classic, in which the Brine National Lacrosse Academy brings top players and coaches to Richmond, Virginia, to compete and gain exposure to the next level of lacrosse, Sarah was asked to visit various stations and perform different exercises to show her skillset.
“Each station I went to was a little nerve-racking,” she said. “They’re telling you to do certain skills that you might not be comfortable with, but it’s all part of learning and trying new stuff. It’s definitely beneficial to my game.”
Sarah currently plays for Legacy Lacrosse, a travel club team. Head coach Genevieve Stickney said she wasn’t surprised that her attack was chosen for the team.
“She has all of the abilities that they’re probably looking for — she’s a big hustler on and off the field so I think having that mentality that she comes onto the field with is something that a team like that really needs,” Stickney said.
Stickney said she has seen a huge improvement over the past year that she has been working with the athlete.
“She’s a smart player, she’s energetic, a big motivator and she goes out there and she gets it done,” she said. “I consider her a motivator on the field. She’s also very good on defense. She’s an attacking kind of player, but we know we could put her in on defense and she could perform really well. If she stays on the same path I could see her doing really well in college.”
And that’s what she’s hoping to get out of being on this year’s Long Island team.
“The goal is that she’ll be seen by coaches where she’ll be able to start conversations on playing for them and their school, and even if we get looked at or noticed by a few of them, that’ll be a big accomplishment at this point for a freshman,” Sarah’s mother Claire said. “We hope she plays hard, she gets noticed and continues the path.”
“I’m definitely excited to show my skills and talent, but I hope that the players on my team will benefit my game, and help me learn more skills and tricks.”
— Sarah Bucher
Sarah is hoping to get more out of the tournament than just being noticed. She’s looking forward to the strong competition — to leave a more localized level, although already playing other states on her travel team — and seeing where she fares against the best of the best.
“I’m definitely excited to show my skills and talent, but I hope that the players on my team will benefit my game, and help me learn more skills and tricks to use on my high school and travel teams,” she said.
According to Sarah, the sport has also taught her life skills she will take with her as she moves into high school, and she hopes to one day take what she’s learned to the varsity team.
“Each time I go to practice or a game I learn something new and I just want to experience fun and beneficial games,” she said. “The whole thing about being a part of a team is to be cooperative and be a team player, and that’s definitely helping me off of the field.”
Her mother is also looking forward to watching her daughter play, both on the Brine field, in Richmond, Virginia, from July 19 to July 22, and one day, the Patriots’ field.
“I’m always a little bit nervous if she’s going to do her best, but I feel so much excitement and pride in her in the choices that she makes, how hard she works and how dedicated she is,” she said of watching her daughter play. “She’s a unique kid. She’s given up many plans with friends, parties, many of the things that teenagers want to do, in order to continue to play sports. At the end of the day, she chooses lacrosse over all of it. As a mom, she makes me continuously proud, almost to tears.”