There’s a stereotype in the lacrosse world that if a player comes from one of the sport's hotbed states like Maryland or even New York, they must have elite lacrosse skills running through their veins.
When it comes to Red Lion junior midfielder Alyssa Adams, who transferred to the area this year from Notre Dame Prep in Towson, Md., those stereotypes are probably accurate, Lions' first-year head coach Samantha Phipps said.
Phipps took notice of Adams right away during a preseason workout in October when she and assistant coach Regan Kaestner stopped by to observe the team and see what they had to work with this season.
"She walked onto the field and before any introductions, I looked at Regan and said 'That's her,'" Phipps said of seeing Adams. "It was one of those things where she just looks like an athlete. She just looks like a lacrosse player and she's everything we thought she was going to be."
Adams' resume is impressive. She's already committed to the University of Cincinnati, choosing the Bearcats over Drexel, Marquette and USC among others after driving 12 hours through a blizzard to visit the campus in Ohio. While competing against some of the state's toughest competition at Notre Dame Prep, Adams played for head coach Mac Ford, who was previously an assistant on the U.S. National Team and is a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. And she once scored a goal against England's U-19 team, she added with a smile.
"It was pretty difficult to stand out down there (Maryland) because everyone eats and breathes lacrosse," Adams said. "Everything there is lacrosse, but I think I did pretty good for myself."
Adams has stood out just fine to her teammates since moving to Red Lion two weeks before the school year started. They've helped make her transition seamless, she said, and even voted the newcomer as a team captain for this season.
"We made it clear to the girls that they needed to pick someone who is a role model and leader on and off the field," Phipps said. "She has been great at that. She takes over when we're not talking. I've been pleasantly surprised at the way she has embedded herself in the team. It feels like she has been playing here forever."
Adams added, "I thought it was going to be really hard to make friends coming in my junior year and not knowing anyone. But everyone has been very welcoming, especially the lacrosse team. As soon as they found out I was coming here, they were texting me and hanging out right away."
Adams and the coaching staff will get their introduction to YAIAA competition when Red Lion starts the season March 24 at Cedar Crest, then takes on Dallastown and Kennard-Dale the following week.
"I like the coaches here a lot because they're new too and it helps me being new," Adams said. "I don't feel like an outcast. They brought me in on an equal playing field with everyone else."
The admiration is mutual, added Phipps, who predicts Adams will be an all-league-type talent in 2016 and 2017.
"She stands out and I think that will be clear to every other team," Phipps said. "And that might be a double-edged sword because she'll stand out but they'll be all over her."