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Above: Whittle’s ability to get to the goal will help as the NCAA ushers in a 90-second possession clock.


Below: Like Whittle, freshman Brindi Griffin came to Maryland via the McDonogh (Md.) pipeline.


Still, just like it did at McDonogh, the spotlight shifts from Cummings to Whittle. “Megan will create her own path. I don’t think she’s going to defer to being Taylor’s


shadow,” McDonogh coach Chris Robinson said. “Megan Whittle wants to be Megan Whittle, and that’s going to be special enough as it is.” Whittle’s value as an upperclassman will be tied to her ability to elevate the play of those around her. After crushing Syracuse in the NCAA semifinals last Memorial Day weekend, Maryland sputtered against North Carolina. Marie McCool limited Cummings to one goal and Whittle shot just 3-for-10 in the championship game. Certainly, Whittle’s ability to get to the goal will help as the NCAA ushers in a 90-second possession clock. She has won and lost an NCAA championship. She doesn’t want to experience losing again. As she describes it, it’s her “put up or shut up” attitude to which her teammates are drawn. Just get it done. “I want to feel that feeling of winning again,” Whittle says. “You have to do it. You have to go out and you have to run the run tests. But also you have to catch and throw, you have to score, [and] you have to not hit the goalie. You have to talk it into existence.” But as Whittle herself said after winning the NCAA championship as a freshman, “You can talk the talk, but you’ve got to walk the walk.” USL


Locally Grown, Nationally Feared


When Cathy Reese took over at Maryland before the 2007 season, she made local recruiting a priority. A decade later, 24 of 34 players on the roster are from Maryland. They’re from


Maryland, and they play for Maryland. The McDonogh pipeline has been


46 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE March 2017


particularly productive, yielding three-time Tewaaraton winner Taylor Cummings, two-time All-American Megan Whittle and now freshman standout Brindi Griffin.


“In the ’90s, we saw a lot of Maryland players go to Carolina, Duke, Virginia and get away from home. Maryland


had a lot of New York kids and Australians on their great teams,” McDonogh coach Chris Robinson told The Baltimore Sun in May 2015. “There weren’t many local kids on those teams, and Cathy’s made a huge change with her philosophy and put up a fence around the state of Maryland.”


USlacrosse.org


©JOHN STROHSACKER


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