Select girls from across Anne Arundel County arrived home late on August 2 from the United Kingdom, having participated in another successful Crosse Over two-week lacrosse trip.
Crosse Over handles the girls lacrosse portion of the annual Anne Arundel County Youth Lacrosse exchange program, which pairs players from all across Anne Arundel County with the Metros lacrosse club in Stockport, England, located just outside of Manchester. Beginning with boys lacrosse in 1976 and adding girls lacrosse in 1996, the program has brought Metros to Anne Arundel County to play local teams in even numbered years, and in odd numbered years AACYL takes teams of local players over to the United Kingdom to play area teams.
It's designed to foster goodwill between lacrosse programs across the Atlantic and to give young players a taste of the different history and culture.
The Anne Arundel County Crosse Over program takes a girls U13 and U15 team abroad, and players are nominated by their respective league commissioners, coaches, former players, or family members. Selection criteria includes lacrosse skills and off-field attitude and maturity, and players must commit not only to going abroad but also to hosting a Metros player when it is their turn to come to the United States.
“I learned the importance of lacrosse in England and how we can learn from their game, as well as how they could learn from ours,” said Severna Park’s Kendall Day. “There is definitely some difference in our playing styles, but that is what makes it fun. We were very thankful for all the venues that we were hosted by for each game, as well as the reception following. Overall, I had such a great experience in England, and I can’t wait to host my girl next year.”
Their motto is “Friendship through Lacrosse,” which is embodied by the nature of utilizing host families, playing in friendship games, and knitting the greater lacrosse community together as a whole.
“My favorite moment would have to just be the simple moment of watching TV with my host family as we ate dinner in the living room,” said Severna Park’s Payton Gerwig. “It just made it feel like I really belonged in the family.”
Players from both sides got to showcase their lacrosse skills, but there were more important things at play like camaraderie, building bridges and relationships, and sharing kindred spirits through a sport loved by girls in Maryland and Greater Manchester.
"This experience was probably the best thing I have ever chose to be a part of," said Arnold's Kaylen Burnam, who traveled despite being injured and unable to play, and was given the sportswomanship award as voted by the English players. "I’ve been a part of this program for two years and have got to meet so many people who are now my closest friends. I remember the day when I got that letter in the mail saying, 'You’ve been accepted.' All I could think about is the people I’d meet and the places I’d go.
“The first practice of my first year, all I could think about is how excited I was to go to England even though it was a year away. Now it finally happened and I’m so happy to be a part of Crosse Over. Even though I was injured for this year's tour, they still made me feel like I was a huge part of this team. I’m so happy I got to be close with my host girl and family, and the girl I hosted. This program really does show that friendship through lacrosse is a thing.”
Kaylen Burnam (D)
Maeve Byrne (D)
Tour Directors and Head Coaches
Stateside Liaison and Coach
Donald Owen Harrison
Karen Harrison (huggy mom emeritus)