COLUMBIA — The return of the United Women’s Lacrosse League to the Baltimore-Metro area brought a sense of camaraderie to the field for Carroll County’s league representatives.
Meghan Macera and Brittany Poist represent Carroll for the Baltimore Ride, one of four teams in the UWLX. The league, in its third season, hosted an STX Rising Showcase at Blandair Park in Columbia on July 11. The Ride used a 6-0 run in the first half to defeat the Long Island Sound 12-9 in the first game.
Macera, a midfielder, scored twice in the victory.
“I think it’s just awesome knowing all the amazing talent that’s come out of Carroll County,” Macera said. “There’s countless recruits to Maryland and all over the place and it’s really special knowing out of our small county in Maryland that there’s a lot of awesome talent coming out of there.
“I think we are all good at supporting each other and cheering each other on, so it’s really awesome to play for the Baltimore team.”
Macera, 23, graduated from Westminster in 2012, attended Virginia Tech, and played lacrosse for the Hokies. She currently lives in Charlottesville and recently celebrated her two-year anniversary at an advertisement development company. The Hokies alumna said she has fully embraced “enemy territory,” in reference to Tech’s notable rivalry with the University of Virginia, located in Charlottesville.
She took a break from lacrosse to focus on other things and said joining the Ride was a great opportunity to get back in the game.
Poist, a 2007 North Carroll grad, attended Maryland and helped lead the Terrapins to a national championship in 2010. After graduation, she became the first women’s lacrosse head coach at McKendree University, a Division II school in Lebanon, Illinois. She spent five years with the Bearcats before accepting a coaching position at a high school in Seattle for a year.
Poist, 27, played for the United States Women’s National Team in 2010, but being so far from home was difficult — a “leap of faith” brought her back to her Carroll County roots. She was substitute teaching in the county until recently, when she got hired as a floating manager of the Lacrosse Unlimited branches in Maryland.
Macera and Poist, a defender, are both playing in the UWLX for the first time this season. They said they were thrilled to see the league return to the Baltimore area.
“For us to be able to have more games here, I think it should have been done that way from the start,” Poist said. “I think we’re honoring the fan bases and I think you can kind of see with both where the fans are willing to go. They’ll go to the Naval Academy, they’ll go to Columbia, even Bel Air sometimes is a stretch. This game … is extremely special for the league.”
Also on the Ride’s roster is Westminster native Julianna Shearer. Shearer graduated from Mount de Sales in Catonsville in 2013 and went on to play lacrosse at Marquette University. Liberty grad Lexi Cross is Carroll’s fourth product in the league, and the 2015 James Madison grad plays for the Philadelphia Force.
Lacrosse has been a part of the women’s lives since they were young girls, and it has rubbed off on their younger siblings as well. Madi Macera, Meghan’s Macera’s sister, graduated from Westminster this year after helping lead the Owls to their first Class 3A state championship. Madi, like her older sister, will attend Virginia Tech this fall to play lacrosse.
Meanwhile, Mackenzie Poist is 10 years younger than Brittany Poist.
Brittany coached her younger sister at the rec level and said she was able to take notice when her sister made the same mistakes she once did, from a coaching perspective.
Mackenzie Poist heads to Liberty University this fall, and will play lacrosse for the Flames.
“I was coaching her so by her putting me in that coaching position so young and seeing what it looked like to a coach, it helped me have better body language and helped me interact with coaches and how to be a better teammate,” Brittany Poist said. “Regardless of their commitment level or not the fact that you’ve got younger siblings, that puts this pressure on them not to be perfect, but certainly to give them a fair shot, too.”
The Boston Storm and Philadelphia Force faced off in the second game of last Wednesday’s UWLX showcase. This season’s setup differs from its second year — instead of 10 games, each team will play four regular-season games and two playoff games.
The championship game is slated for Aug. 4 at Harvard Stadium in Boston.
“I think it’s great knowing that the league is growing and it did make it to the third year and it’s continuing to grow and gain traction,” Meghan Macera said. “The fan base is really awesome and with the new [Women’s Professional Lacrosse League] starting this year, it’s cool to know that even with two leagues right now, it means there’s double the amount of girls playing so that’s still a really awesome opportunity for out sport.
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“I think we all have goals in mind for getting lacrosse into the Olympics and those types of things, so we’re just focused on growing the game and making these connections to support each other and have fun.”