Hampton girls lacrosse star McGrath headed to Allegheny College
Both the sport of girls lacrosse and Hampton low attacker Christine McGrath have come a long way in the past couple of years.
Growing up in a house where her dad and three brothers played lacrosse, McGrath could not help but gravitate to the sport.
Unfortunately for McGrath, there was no girls team at Hampton at the time. So she did the only logical thing: She played with the boys. McGrath didn't care about mixing it up with the guys, but as everyone grew up, size and strength began to work against her and the other girls who wanted to play.
McGrath's father, Bill, helped get a girls middle school team up and running, and for all their efforts, the sport has grown a great deal at Hampton.
In her senior season, McGrath helped the Lady Talbots reach the second round of the WPIAL playoffs, scored her 200th career goal and earned a spot as part of the Allegheny College team for next season.
“I can't believe it's over,” McGrath said. “We lost to Bethel Park in the playoffs by one goal last year, and that gave us some momentum heading in this year.”
Hampton lost to Shaler last week in the semifinals, but this season definitely will be one of good memories for the senior.
The 200-goal milestone was special, but McGrath said she couldn't have done it without her teammates.
“A lot of those goals were assisted,” McGrath said. “I am pretty competitive, so I set my goal for 100, then when I got there, I thought, why not 200?
“My team is awesome, and Gabby (Scherer) assisted on a lot of them.”
McGrath said she is an outgoing person and likes to be social off the field, but when she steps between the lines, she admits she is a completely different person.
“I like to compete and play hard,” she said. “I was named a team captain as a junior, and that gave me a great sense of accomplishment,” she said. “My teammates looked to me, and I looked to them.”
The game itself is exciting for McGrath. She prefers team sports to individual sports and credits the work she has done with her dad and brothers as aiding her success.
“They taught me some things, and I spent a lot of time playing wall ball,” McGrath said. “I worked all summer, because I wanted the team to have the best chance this season. We practiced, ran, got conditioned and worked to make our stick skills better. We all worked hard.”
The extra work paid off with an opportunity to play college lacrosse, and after a visit to Allegheny College, no other school even came close.
“The coach talked to me about the program, and it is a beautiful school,” she said. “When I met the coach and team, they were so welcoming and really took me in. After that, no other school could compare.”
McGrath said it was hard to say goodbye to her teammates, because they had been together for so long and had done so much together. Although that was difficult, she is looking forward to college, where she plans to study something in the medical field or animal sciences with a minor in theater.
With so many good memories going with her, McGrath said one particular moment that was exciting was an overtime game-winning goal against Vincentian that stands out above all of her other goals.
“I was really nervous, because it was a sudden-victory situation,” she said. “The team and I celebrated together. I loved it and will never forget it.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.