A Common Goal

Carmel Valley is home to three outstanding high schools – Torrey Pines, Canyon Crest Academy, and Cathedral Catholic – all of which offer students the opportunity to participate in various academic and athletic pursuits. Among them is the girls’ lacrosse program, where players stick together, develop their skills, and learn valuable lessons that translate to life off the field. Join us as we speak with Varsity Head Coaches Kaitlin Doucette, Gabby Kraszewski, and Kristen Micho about how the teams are gearing up for success in the new season.

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Q&A with Torrey Pines Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse Coach Kaitlin Doucette

What is the mission of the Torrey Pines Girls’ Lacrosse program?
The guiding principle behind the Torrey Pines Girls’ Lacrosse program lies in the belief of the educational value that athletics provide to our student-athletes. We strive to develop an environment that enables our athletes to aim for uncompromised excellence in her highest academic, athletic, and individual aspirations.

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What is the history of the program, and how has it evolved over the years?
I began coaching at TP as the varsity assistant alongside Lauren Moyer. I became the head coach in 2011. This will be my ninth season at Torrey – my eighth as a head coach.

• 2010: 19-3 (CIF Champions)
• 2011: 18-2 (CIF Champions)
• 2012: 11-7
• 2013: 11-8
• 2014: 8-12
• 2015: 16-6
• 2016: 20-2 (CIF Champions)
• 2017: 23-0 (CIF Champions)

You can see the ups and downs of the program reflected in our record. While we were always competitive, there was certainly a great deal of growth that needed to take place. One of the most important evolutions of the program has been developing a program-wide sense of mutual commitment to a common goal. With that mutual commitment comes a natural dedication to do whatever it takes to achieve the goals that we put to paper at the start of every season.

cv_girlslacrosse2Can you tell us about your experience with the sport, and what led you to your current role?
I grew up in Washington, DC where I attended a girl’s private school. I got involved in lacrosse in seventh grade when I had to select a spring sport to play. I played club under one of the more recognizable individuals in the sport (Kathy Jenkins) who sparked my love of the game. I played club for the Capital Lacrosse Club. After my junior year of high school, I tried out for and made the USA Women’s Lacrosse u-19 team. I was part of the 24-man roster that won the gold that summer. I ended up committing to play at the University of Virginia the summer prior to my senior year of high school. I tore two ACLs while at college and ended up taking a fifth year and getting my master’s in education in that fifth year. During my five years, I was part of an amazing group of women that won a National Championship (competed for three) and won four ACC titles.

cv_girlslacrosse5A combination of educational background and love of the sport brought me to where I am today. When I first moved to San Diego, I began working for a company called Adrenaline Lacrosse. With Adrenaline, I initially ran the grassroots marketing efforts where I planned and coordinated demos in PE classes all over San Diego to introduce the sport to younger athletes. I built Adrenaline’s social presence and ran the marketing department until 2014.

While at Adrenaline, I got involved with West Coast Starz – geared towards college recruitment. I took on a larger role with the club in 2010 and have been co-directing the club with Rebecca Kingsbury since 2014.

In 2015, I started the RC Lacrosse Club which serves as the youth program in the Carmel Valley/Del Mar/Solana/Rancho area.

How many students are generally on the varsity team? What is the tryout process like, and who is eligible?
I generally carry 18-22 players on my varsity roster. We will also bring up players at the end of the regular season to expose them to the excitement surrounding tournament time. Any Torrey Pines student (9th-12th grade) who is “cleared” by the school is allowed to try out for the program. Tryouts usually last a week.

When does the season begin and end?
We will begin tryouts on February 19 – and we hope to be playing in the CIF Championship on May 12.

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The team earned the CIF Championship title the past two years. How did it feel to be part of that accomplishment?
Winning CIF is an added bonus to a successful season. I learned quickly that if you live and die by your record, you’re not going to stick around very long. It has to be about something more than that. From a larger program perspective, however, winning CIF helps prove to our girls that their efforts were worth it. By trusting in the process and committing to coming together in pursuit of a common goal, these girls realize that all of the time and energy, discipline, and sacrifices were indeed worth it.

What are you most looking forward to as the new season approaches?
Even in my ninth year, every season is a unique challenge for me. Each season brings a new group of girls to work with, new opponents, and new situations to go through together. I’m looking forward to seeing what this group is capable of and what the legacy of my 2018 class is going to look like.

What is the most rewarding aspect of coaching? The most challenging?
Most rewarding: seeing my players come together in pursuit of something far bigger than what they could accomplish individually.

Most challenging: taking a group of individuals and developing that sense of mutual commitment.


At-A-Glance | Torrey Pines High School Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse Team

Head Coach: Kaitlin Doucette
Assistant Coach: Kelly Connors
Website: www.tphslax.com
Email: tphslaxgirls@gmail.com


What are the short-term and long-term goals for the program?
Short term: 2018 goals will get decided by the team once we have had tryouts. Goals will likely include League and CIF titles. Another short-term goal for this year is to ramp up our engagement in the community through more community service-based initiatives.
Long term: continue to develop the lacrosse community in San Diego – we hope to establish ourselves from a national perspective as well. Continue to develop young women who strive for uncompromised excellence in whatever they choose to pursue both on and off the field.

What other accolades has the team garnered over the years?
• CIF Player of the Year 2010: Katie Trees
• CIF Player of the Year 2011: Anna Knowles
• CIF San Diego, Coach of the Year 2016
• US Lacrosse, Coach of the Year 2016
• California Coaches Association, California State Coach of the Year 2016
• CIF Player of Year 2016: Taylor Scornavacco
• CIF Player of the Year 2017: Taylor Scornavacco



Q&A with Canyon Crest Academy Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse Coach Gabby Kraszewski

cv_girlslacrosse6What is the mission of the CCA Girls’ Lacrosse program?
Our program aims to create a culture of competition while empowering athletes to be leaders on and off the field.

Can you tell us about your experience with the sport, and what led you to your current role?
I grew up in San Diego and started playing lacrosse goalie in high school, continuing on to play at the collegiate level. Currently I play for a local adult league. Last year, I headed CCA’s JV program before moving into head coach for the varsity team this year. I am also in my second year of coaching for the UCSD Women’s Lacrosse team.

How many students are generally on the varsity team? What is the tryout process like, and who is eligible?
Our varsity team is usually around 25 girls. We hold tryouts over three days, which are broken down into conditioning, specific stick skills, and team dynamics. We often get players new to the sport of lacrosse when entering as freshmen who grow into competitive athletes over their high school career.


At-A-Glance | Canyon Crest Academy Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse Team

Head Coach: Gabby Kraszewski
Assistant Coach: Holly Austin
Phone Number: 858-350-0253
Website: www.ravenslacrosse.org
Email: ggkraszewski@gmail.com


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When does the season begin and end?
Captains begin pre-season work during winter sports and our season lasts into May.

cv_girlslacrosse9Can you share any highlights from last year’s season?
Although I was not the varsity coach last year, I’m excited to work with our team this year to continue to build on our record of making CIF.

What are you most looking forward to as the new season approaches?
This year’s team includes a great group of girls and is particularly heavy with seniors and returning players. Through pre-season, it’s been exciting to see their team cohesiveness on and off the field and I’m looking forward to see that translate into game play.

cv_girlslacrosse8What is the most rewarding aspect of coaching? The most challenging?
The most rewarding aspect of coaching is seeing players accomplish their goals and meet their potential. The confidence and perseverance they learn on the field is something they carry into other aspects of their lives. The most challenging aspect can be balancing individual needs or goals with those of the team. Players have to learn to work with others and think about what benefits everyone even when it involves personal sacrifice.

What are the short-term and long-term goals for the program?
This year we’re looking forward to making CIF and having a competitive season. When thinking about the long-term future of the program, we would like to build dominance and sustain a competitive level of play within San Diego lacrosse.

What other accolades has the team garnered over the years?
In recent years, we have had multiple players be named All-American, All-League, and All-CIF.cv_girlslacrosse10



Q&A with Cathedral Catholic Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse Coach Kristen Micho

cv_girlslacrosse11What is the mission of the Cathedral Girls’ Lacrosse program?
The mission of the Cathedral Girl’s Lacrosse program is to foster good character on and off the field. I believe the values instilled in the sport and players translate into life.

What is the history of the program, and how has it evolved over the years?
We are in a rebuild year as I took over the girl’s lacrosse program at the start of the year. I am incredibly excited, as Cathedral has always had a strong group of talented girls and we certainly have big goals for this upcoming season.

Can you tell us about your experience with the sport, and what led you to your current role?
I am a New York native and started playing lacrosse in sixth grade when I quickly fell in love with the sport. In high school, as a varsity captain, I was recruited to play in college and went on to play Division III lacrosse at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. Not only did I love playing but I grew passionate for teaching the game and sharing that with young players. I began coaching club lacrosse in Boston and continued to coach when I moved to San Diego in 2012. I work as a counselor at Cathedral so when the varsity position became available, I knew it was the perfect fit for me.

How many students are generally on the varsity team? What is the tryout process like, and who is eligible?
Typically, I like to see around 20 girls on the varsity roster, but it always depends on total numbers during tryouts. We will have four days of tryouts focusing on stick work, overall fitness, and lacrosse knowledge. All students are eligible to tryout, understanding that it is a cut sport.

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At-A-Glance | Cathedral Catholic Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse Team

Head Coach: Kristen Micho
Phone Number: 858-523-4000
Website: www.cathedralcatholic.org
Email: kmicho@cathedralcatholic.org


cv_girlslacrosse14When does the season begin and end?
The season begins on the first day of tryouts, Feb. 20, and our last scheduled game is May 1, hoping to extend into post-season playoffs.

Can you share any highlights from last year’s season?
I do not have too many highlights to share from last season as I was not the coach, but we will have a lot of returning players this year and I know the girls are energized for this upcoming season.

What are you most looking forward to as the new season approaches?
I am looking forward to bringing fresh blood and new energy to the program. We have a competitive league and non-league games which I think will only continue to push our team in a positive direction. It has been incredible to watch how lacrosse has grown in Southern California, including the competition, so I am most looking forward to continuing to grow my new team with that.

cv_girlslacrosse13What is the most rewarding aspect of coaching? The most challenging?
The most rewarding part of coaching for me has always been connecting with young athletes and helping to shape them into well rounded people. Athletics teaches so many skill sets that are transferable into everyday life, and it has been so rewarding to be part of that growth. The most challenging part of coaching is that you cannot teach motivation. Athletes participate for various reasons, and it takes hard work to get a group of different girls in sync with each other and to all be motivated in the same way. I firmly believe in setting goals and achieving those goals is also rewarding.

What are the short-term and long-term goals for the program?
As for many teams, advancing into post-season play is a long-term goal, but more importantly how we improve each and every practice and what we learn from each game are all short-term stepping stones to get there.

What other accolades has the team garnered over the years?
CIF D1 title in 2014 and three-time section finalist.

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