Apr 13, 2010

Making strides with Chloe McIntosh

by Kelsey Huff

“They’re late.” Regan Denham seemed a little antsy as she tried to figure out what was keeping her players. As head coach of the debut Liberty women’s Division I lacrosse team, Denham has had to start from scratch. She had to find and gather talent sufficient enough to form a respectable squad, which started out with some seasoned athletes and some players still figuring out how to hold their crosse (the stick).

The players climbed down the slippery hill and onto the field one by one and began warming up for throwing practice. According to Denham, it was about all they could do because there was still snow and ice covering their field. The team formed lines and ran drills — with an occasional loose ball rolling onto the snow.

The team was late to its practice on the snow-covered field because their Pilates instructor had kept the players too long. Although not a usual training regimen for collegiate athletes, Denham explained that Pilates focuses on core muscles and is a good upbeat change from regular strength training and conditioning.

Women’s lacrosse may be as new to Liberty as it is to some of the players, like sophomore midfielder Chloe McIntosh. Sharing her original intentions of walking onto the Lady Flames basketball team, the lacrosse novice told how one door shut, another completely unexpected door opened.

After prayerful consideration, McIntosh spent several months including her summer training and preparing for basketball tryouts. She enjoyed playing in high school as well as intramurals here at Liberty. It didn’t hurt her chances that she is a kinesiology major and a “natural athlete” according to fellow teammate and co-captain sophomore Kristin Crowley.

Shortly after the basketball tryouts, she received two calls. The first was a decline from the basketball coach. She recalled her thoughts after the short conversation on the phone.

“Okay Lord, what does this mean? I know you wanted me to pursue this and to train,” McIntosh said.

Later that same day the second call came. It was an invitation from the lacrosse coach, Denham, who observed the basketball try-outs to scout potential players.

“If (McIntosh) was good at basketball, she would definitely be a naturally good fit for lacrosse,” Denham said.

The rest is history. McIntosh decided to put all of her hard work to use in a different way, one she never would have expected, “never in a million years.”

Known for her work ethic and coach-ability, McIntosh was nominated as a captain by her teammates, even though she had never picked up a lacrosse stick prior to this fall. She acknowledged that her conditioning level played a part in being able to display leadership on the field.

“She takes extra time outside of practice to make sure she understands. The other players look up to her because she is constantly working hard and never gives up,” Crowley said.

Contact Kelsey Huff at

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