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UAlbany’s Coach Thomson talks scouting tournaments, recruiting, lacrosse camps – Saratogian
UAlbany’s Coach Thomson talks scouting tournaments, recruiting, lacrosse camps – Saratogian

Layla Vespa (33) leads the attack for the Lake Effect Storm girls lacrosse team as they competed against 3d Common Goal 2031 in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).

ALBANY, NY — The high school sports season may be over, but the summer calendar is still full for student-athletes and their parents traveling from tournament to tournament. The same goes for coaches scouting, recruiting and developing young players.

Katie Thomson, head coach of the University at Albany women’s lacrosse team, and her assistant coaches Leah Gallagher and Taylor Frink kept the Dane Train moving, watching the Northstar Capital City Classic in Albany and the Lax for the Cure tournament in New Jersey this past weekend.

I recently spoke with Coach Thomson about her scouting and recruiting process this summer.

“It’s great to have such a high-level event right on the UAlbany campus,” Thomson said of the tournament, which featured clubs from across the Northeast as well as local teams such as Albany Power and ADK Peak.

“It allows different teams from different areas to come to campus and see everything UAlbany has to offer in terms of facilities and community. It’s so great to have that on campus and we’re so happy that Summit Lacrosse Ventures, who organize the tournament, are hosting such a well-organized, high-quality event here in Albany,” Thomson noted of the exposure of the players and the university.

Thomson also discussed the difference that comes with moving from being a coach to being a scout.

“I think it’s a really nice time to sit back and look at the games from a different perspective and really focus on the players and their teamwork and how they treat each other and not think too much about game plans and Xs and O’s and all that,” Thomson explained.

“So after the season there is definitely a little bit of a transition where you can sit back and really enjoy the skill and playing at a high level,” she continued.

To that end, Thomson explained what she and her staff look for in potential recruits and how they fit into the program’s culture.

“It’s really great because we’re so open-minded. But we’re looking for really combative, aggressive players that are going to run all over the field and have fun. And it’s just a great opportunity to watch players from all different backgrounds and see who might be a good fit for the way we play,” Thomson noted.

“It’s also a great opportunity to watch how they interact with their teammates and their coaches and the attitude and effort they show on the field,” Thomson continued.

“NCAA rules state that we can contact and communicate with prospective and future student-athletes on September 1st of the player’s junior year. So the summer is really about evaluating and observing their play before we can engage with them,” Thomson added.

In addition to attending tournaments, Thomson spoke about her role as co-head coach of the USA Lacrosse Women’s National Team Development Program’s U16 Select Team for the 2024 cycle.

“The USA Lacrosse program has development teams designed to groom the U16 and U18 age groups as potential players for the U20 level and the senior women’s national team. They will then have the greatest honor of wearing the USA logo on their chest and playing for their country in competition,” Thomson explained.

“So it’s really an honor to be able to coach at this level and inspire and help develop players so they can continue in the Team USA program,” Thomson noted.

Coach Thomson also talked about her Lady Danes Lacrosse summer camp and elite clinic and how she wants to give back to the community.

“We are hosting a youth camp on July 15 and 16 right at our home stadium, John Fallon Field,” Thomson said.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with the young players throughout the Capital District, have them on campus and really help them love lacrosse. We have two really fun days planned with lots of skills and drills, but also fun activities where we can get creative with lacrosse. It’s always such a fun youth camp and we can’t wait to work with the area players,” explained Thomson.

“Registrations are still ongoing, so there is still an opportunity for more players to sign up and join us,” Thomson noted.

“Our staff are really passionate about giving back to the community and the sport and helping to grow the game. We want to impact as many players as possible, from the start of their studies through to afterward, so we’re really happy to be a part of it and we love hosting this camp to help develop and nurture the players and the game,” added Thomson.

Looking ahead, Thomson expressed her excitement about her roster for next season as the America East regular season champions look to return to the NCAA Tournament after a heartbreaking loss to Binghamton in the conference tournament title game.

New freshmen include Savannah Hodges, Ravan Marsell, Sam Moyer, Abbie Murphy, Catrina Rowe, Daniela Parisi, Sophia Watts, Shaely Wallace and Anasofia Cirincione.

“We are excited to welcome nine new players to our program and it is truly going to be a great season,” said Thomson.

“We have a lot of players back with a lot of experience. It’s another close team that plays hard and supports each other,” Thomson continued.

“So we’re really excited to bring them in this fall and build our team chemistry throughout the fall and into the early preseason,” Thomson added.

Layla Vespa (33) leads the attack for the Lake Effect Storm girls lacrosse team as they competed against 3d Common Goal 2031 in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).
Layla Vespa (33) leads the attack for the Lake Effect Storm girls lacrosse team as they competed against 3d Common Goal 2031 in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).
The Albany Power 2030 and Lake Effect Storm 2030 girls lacrosse teams competed in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).
The Albany Power 2030 and Lake Effect Storm 2030 girls lacrosse teams competed in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).
The Albany Power 2030 and Lake Effect Storm 2030 girls lacrosse teams competed in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).
The Albany Power 2030 and Lake Effect Storm 2030 girls lacrosse teams competed in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).
The 3d Common Goal 2031 and Lake Effect Storm 2030 girls lacrosse teams competed in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).
The 3d Common Goal 2031 and Lake Effect Storm 2030 girls lacrosse teams competed in the Northstar Capital City Classic at the University at Albany in Albany, NY on Sunday, June 23, 2024 (MICHAEL GWIZDALA – MEDIANEWS GROUP).

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