St. Charles co-op girls lacrosse coach Morgan Logue has her team hovering just above .500 in her first season at the helm. A Barrington graduate who played collegiately and coached in Virginia before helping start Aurora University’s NCAA Division III program last season, Logue has embraced the challenge of fusing veteran players and talented newcomers. In this week’s edition of the Weekend Chit-chat, Logue addresses the team’s outlook and analyzes lacrosse’s best attributes and Midwestern growth. Here’s an edited transcript of her conversation with Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley:
What have you seen out of your team as you hit the stretch run?
This year, we definitely have a young team, but strong in leadership. A lot of girls have experience. Freshmen have really been stepping up. So have our seniors. … We just had a transfer come in from New York, Liz (Maisch), and then also another sophomore. Liz is a sophomore and so is Emma Haley. Then we have senior captain Mary (Fahey) and then also our goalie, Emilee Copple. They have all been stepping up, including some rookies coming in. We have some freshmen, including Lena (Kabeshita), who’s a freshman that’s started every single game as a low defender. And then also MacKenzie Brown has been earning her minutes throughout the season.
What’s your approach when you come in knowing you have players from all different walks of lacrosse?
Definitely coming in, you need experience. Just coming in [in my] first year actually helping out in the high school lacrosse game. Had a few years helping coach college, so just getting reacquainted with Illinois lacrosse. I was out in Virginia for five years. Thankfully, though, I knew a lot of the girls that were on the team, which also is one of the reasons why I wanted to be involved with St. Charles. It’s through True Lacrosse, who is a travel team that’s just growing in the girls program.
Were there many Illinois girls on that first Aurora University roster?
Surprisingly, no. A lot of the girls that came in to Aurora were out-of-state. It’s hard to keep Illinois girls home. … It kind of depends. The sport is pretty strong in the Naperville area, and then Aurora being so close, it’s hard to keep the girls, you know, less than an hour from home in an area they’re so familiar with.
This sport is king out East, but it’s growing here. Are the landscapes still night-and-day different?
My original answer would be ‘yes,’ but over the past few years, the sport has been growing so, so drastically, and especially in Illinois, there’s more youth programs, there’s more travel teams, there’s more competition. The knowledge and availability of the sport is just so much more than it used to be.
And just flipping channels, you see the game is televised more often on ESPNU or Big Ten Network.
Not only on TV, but just recently, Northwestern was able to play on Wrigley Field [in a women’s game against USC]. So the popularity of the sport is growing. I think it’s entertaining to watch. It’s fast, it’s quick. It’s kind of a mixture. Whether you’re watching boys or girls, you get the mixture of basketball, soccer and hockey, which are all really popular sports, especially when it comes to the television aspect of it. Professional leagues are growing. I know that there’s nothing for girls yet, but I think it’s just a fun sport to watch and I think that people are going to be entertained by it.
What’s your outlook the rest of the way?
I just hope we can finish the season strong. We have some big games in front of us, games that we want to be competing in with the (state) tournament coming up. And hopefully we can finish strong for the seniors, make a big run through the tournament. … St. Charles has always been strong, always been in the top 20. Good group of girls, good schools and they’re just fun to work with.