March 17, 2009

Club Holdover Rawlick Mobilizes Navy Women

by Andy Krauss | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Junior Erin Rawlick (16g, 24a) is averaging 6.6 points per game for the Navy women's lacrosse team, which is 5-1 going into Saturday's game at Patriot League foe Holy Cross.
© Navy Athletics

As Erin Rawlick moved into her dorm room at the U.S. Naval Academy to start her plebe summer of 2006, she had every intention of playing soccer for the Midshipmen.
 
Why wouldn't she? Rawlick was coming off a 2006 spring soccer season in which she earned her third all-county honor on her way to leading C. Milton Wright to the Maryland state championship.
 
Then one day, she opened a letter that turned around her future at the Academy.

Her father, Steven, sent Rawlick a letter, along with newspaper clippings informing her that Cindy Timchal was coming to Annapolis to start the new varsity lacrosse program in 2008. Her mind instantly changed.
 
This was no ordinary coach. This was Cindy Timchal, who had won eight -- count ‘em, eight -- national titles down the road at the University of Maryland.

"It became obvious that Navy was serious about building a serious program," said Rawlick, who also earned all-county honors while leading C. Milton Wright to a Maryland lacrosse state title in 2004.  "I knew I could be part of history with the program here."
 
Three years later, Rawlick is considered part of the heart, soul and history of the Navy varsity women's lacrosse program.
 
In its second season as a varsity program, Rawlick has scored a goal in every game that Navy has ever played (23). The streak is the ninth-longest in the nation. She currently leads the team in scoring with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists).  As of March 8, she led the nation in assists per game with four.
 
Timchal knew when she met Rawlick three years ago that she had a special player on her hands. 

"She has made an immediate impact on this program," said Timchal.  "We knew she'd be a person we could build this program around and to get to the Patriot League championship."
 
Rawlick's offensive success has led directly to team success. In Navy's maiden season last year, it posted a staggering 13-4 record and reached the Patriot League tournament. This year, the Mids are of to a 5-1 start and show no signs of slowing down.

It didn't hurt that they had a pretty solid club to start with. From 2000-07, the Mids compiled a 111-22 record. Timchal took over in the club's final year.
 
Rawlick is one of a tight group of eight that remains from the club team that went on to the 2007 WDIA (Women's Division Intercollegiate Athletics) title game, losing to perennial power Cal Poly.  That group includes attacker Brittany Amerau; midfielders Jaime Howe, Mary Ruttum and Megan Silk; and defenders Margaret Gardner, Lauren Gillam and Tori Wiedmeier.

Playing for the club team as a freshman, Rawlick found her inspiration from captain Amanda Towey, who was a senior on last year's team.

"Amanda was so intense and serious about playing the game of lacrosse," said Rawlick. "It was as if she had been playing her whole life to play that one year of varsity lacrosse. I was happy to see her be able to do it."

Perhaps the ultimate compliment of Rawlick, a junior, comes from her coach, as she glances into the future.

"Erin has really gotten us on the map," said Timchal. "We'll look back 10 years from now and say she was part of getting Navy women's lacrosse off the ground."


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