High school sophomores making verbal commitments to colleges has become more and more prevalent in men’s lacrosse for more than a year.

Is the trend coming to the women’s game?

Northwestern University, which has won six national titles the last seven years, recently landed a commitment from one of the nation’s top 10th-graders.

Emily Stein of Darien has announced her intentions to attend Northwestern.

“I had no idea I would commit this early but I feel very comfortable with my decision,” Stein is an athletic midfielder who also excels in soccer and basketball.

Her athleticism – and skills were on display –  at several camps the last few months.

“The girls lacrosse recruiting process is based on college camps,” Stein said. “For me, that was a springboard for recruiting. Northwestern showed interest in me at their camps and I was just so impressed with them and the overall opportunity available there.

“I kept in touch with the coaches and their interest in me continued to develop from summer camp to winter camp. I was invited to a game last spring on campus and spent time with (Northwestern Head Coach) Kelly (Amonte Hiller) and took a campus tour. They saw me play this summer and invited me for an unofficial visit this fall.

“I went to class, met the team, learned more about the academic offerings and then went to a football game. I spent the summer and fall visiting other schools and getting a feel for places.

“I considered NU’s offer for a couple of months and it just felt right for me. I decided to commit at their winter camp a couple of weeks ago.”

Northwestern also will be bringing in another standout midfielder from the region in John Jay’s Lauren Murray, who’s a senior.

The commitments of Stein and  — as well as Murray‘s John Jay teammate Kelsey Davey (USC)  — were among the topics I discussed on the HV/CT Friday edition of MSG Varsity’s “SportsDesk” (Optimum). In case you missed the five-minute segment, you can catch it here. 

Now, here are more thoughts from Emily Stein on her commitment.

What were the main factors in your decision? 
I targeted schools with excellent academic reputations and strong lacrosse programs. I always tried to keep my focus on the academic side as I considered my options. I was also drawn to campuses located near big cities.

Northwestern fit my objectives perfectly. It is a great school, an outstanding program and a nice campus just outside of Chicago.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit? 
I also considered Penn, Georgetown, North Carolina and Cornell and was able to visit each campus and meet with players and coaches.

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play? 
Transitioning the ball up the field to create fast breaks for our offense and feeding people around the cage.

What were some of the big summer showcase events you’ve competed in the last couple of years and how id you do at them?
I  played for Lower New England in the Schoolgirls national tournament during the Women’s Final Four. I also played in tournaments with my club team, the CT Chargers. I also went to Maximum Exposure in Maryland, Top of the Class Camp, and Top 215, which all had a lot of college coaches in attendance. I had a busy summer!

Follow Joe Lombardi on Twitter @joe_lombardi or by clicking here. Follow LaxLessons @LaxLessons or by clicking here.


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Posted In: College lacrosse, fciac, Recruiting Rundown, Women's lacrosse

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6 Responses to “Darien sophomore standout Stein set on Northwestern”

  1. Joey from Jersey says:

    This bigger question is why are kids who are barely 16, who haven’t even taken the PSATs or SATs, and who haven’t played one game in their sophomore year, or even finished the fall semester, worried about the stress of college? Enjoy high school!

    • LI Lax says:

      How can you blame someone for wanting to take advantage of the opportunity to attend a great school like NU?

      • slacrosse says:

        I agree and don’t fault 14-15 yr old kids that commit to great academic/lax schools like NW, UVA, UNC, Hopkins, etc.

        But I DO FAULT the schools for drawing these 14-15 yr old kids into the recruiting process (entirely legal from an NCAA stand-point). The schools are simply betting on “potential” lax skills and grades to recruit a kid now that hasn’t played a varsity game. It’s a desire to throw the dice and emotionally “lock up” these kids before others might. There are tons of top juniors/post junior yr kids that are dying to go to these schools for recruiting–no need to intrude on sophomores that haven’t played a varsity game yet!

        Some of these kids will not progress on the field and/or classroom during their soph or junior yrs. Others that will actually excel on the field (and in the classroom) during their soph/junior yrs will be in on the radar of these elite lax schools anyway. So what if one of these “AA” recruit factories loses a kid or two to another school when they’re older—there are plenty of top lax players to go around!

        Lastly and most importantly,from a kid’s stand-point, they will meet so many people, hear and see so many things during their soph yr, post soph summer, beginning of junior yr that they could easily make a different (and possibly more thought-out) decision at that point. I really do feel that if kids knew that there was to be ZERO contact/recruting done during their soph yr that the yr would be alot more fun and less worrisome for them (and their parents).

    • Lax Novice says:

      What makes you think that someone you don’t know isn’t enjoying high school? I can tell you from personal experience that recruited athletes are much happier and relaxed after the recruiting process ends with a commitment than during.

      Congratulations to Emily and all the Stein family.

      • slacrosse says:

        As I said I agreed with “LI Lax” that you cannot at all blame kids for making the decision as Emily did. NW a great school with great lax program. I should have probably included a sincere congrats in there which I had implied by agreeing with LI Lax.

        My comments were made to address the issue generally of recruiting 14-15 yr old sophomores (boys or girls) which is why I specifically used the word “kids”.

        Sure of course there are going to be tons of kids that do benefit from early recruiting,are very happy, and all works out.

        But one has to take a stand on this practice after weighing the positives and negatives. I for one don’t like the rule/practice for the general reasons I stated and would change it.

        • Lax Novice says:

          I agree that a congratlations would have been in order, considering that the subject of this article is to announce a commitment by one of area’s outstanding players to one of the country’s premier lacrosse programs.

          I would expect that there will be another dozen or so commitments by members of the Class of 2014 prior to the start of the coming HS season. Let’s not have the same tired and unproven argument every time a student and their family decides to announce what they have chosen as the best path for the child’s athletic and academic future.

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