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McCollum's Column: Lacrosse - a curious mix of a lot of things

Posted: February 22, 2014 - 7:24pm

Lacrosse offers a buffet of terms and maneuvers from other sports.

It’s a Heinz 57 type of activity.

There is a small goal like hockey, polo or soccer or any other net sport.

You have saves, offsides, a crease, yellow cards and a penalty box.

There are turnovers and ground balls.

It’s a strange hybrid combination of a little soccer, hockey, rugby, polo, baseball and basketball.

And from poker, you even have a draw, which is the lacrosse equivalent of a faceoff.

One of the most difficult things for the novice is following the ball, which is similar to what we use to play catch with our dog — except it doesn’t squeak.

Players pass it around like a hot potato with netted sticks called crosse (hence the french name la crosse).

The first varsity women’s game in Arkansas history was played here Saturday between Hendrix, a start-up program, and Southern Athletic Association rival Berry, which is in its fourth year and showed it.

The setting was fitting for the debut on Arkansas soil. Sun, no clouds and gusty wind, which played havoc with the concession tent.

A good and boisterous group of students, faculty, coaches and the just curious came out. T-shirts, cups and spirit towels were given away.

Patrick Rogers, a men’s lacrosse player, sang the National Anthem.

Women’s lacrosse has much less contact, particularly with the sticks, than the men’s version. Players wear skirts simmilar to field hockey. They also wear goggles, which furnishes a touch of swimming.

It’s interesting to watch the participants dash up and down the field, particularly with the ball in their net. They will weave and maneuver and duck under other sticks like folks scrambliing with folded umbrellas avoiding open umbrellas in a rainstorm.

It’s fast-paced with a lot of scoring.

At halftime, there was a fan shootout on goal against Hendrix lacrosse coach Curt Foxx.

Foxx lined up in goal with cow-spotted pants and a more-than-10-gallon hat, a perfect cross between the Chick-Fil-A cow mascot and Pancho Villa.

The selected contestants fired balls like a big snowball fight.

It was a blended mix of a shootout.

Nicely appropriate for the afternoon.

(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 501-505-1235 or david.mccollum@thecabin.net or follow him on twitter @dmaclcd)

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