In the early stages of the girls lacrosse program at Mattituck, it may have seemed far fetched to imagine that a few years later, the high school would be represented on the sport’s grand stage: the Under Armour All-America game.
Then again, after watching Katie Hoeg early in her career as part of the young Tuckers’ program, it might not have seemed so far fetched after all. Over her varsity career, she amassed more than 500 points, including 56 goals and 58 assists this past season as a senior. Her high school career officially wrapped up last weekend when she represented the North team in the prestigious All-America game. Playing attack, she not only helped her team to a 13-11 victory, but earned Most Valuable Player honors along the way.
“I’m really proud to come from Mattituck,” Hoeg said. “I always say in seventh grade we won one game. And to think someone from Mattituck could come and get an MVP at such a big game, I never would have believed it.”
The award can serve as an inspiration to the players following her footsteps, Hoeg said. “You’re not a big fish in a small pond any more,” she said.
The All-America game was part of a weekend of festivities. The girls game was held Saturday night at Towson University in Maryland. The game features 44 of the top lacrosse players from across the country and beyond. The girls team, for example, featured two Canadians. The rosters, which are chosen by a selection committee and Inside Lacrosse magazine, were announced in four waves starting in May. Hoeg was announced in the first wave as a member of the North team.
“When I got the call I was really happy,” she said.
Hoeg was one of 13 Long Island players selected for the game. Two players who were chosen will be joining Hoeg at the University of North Carolina in the fall. One girl, Charlotte Allard, is from Massachusetts and the other is from Huntington. Taylor Moreno, a goalkeeper, was injured though and could not play in the game.
Hoeg said the experience was a confidence boost that she could play at an elite level before beginning her collegiate career.
“Playing with those girls in three days made me a better lacrosse player,” she said. “Now I’m so excited to go down and play with UNC because I know they’ll make me better.”
Hoeg scored three goals with two assists in the All-America game. She said her goals came by getting open in the middle and using her height to her advantage. The assists came by simply finding the open player.
“The team was really unselfish,” she said.
About a week prior to the game, each player received brand-new equipment to use. Hoeg said she traveled to Maryland Thursday and on Friday the team held two practices, mostly to get used to the new equipment. Hoeg said the coaches had informed her before she arrived that she would be playing attack, a position she could find herself playing in college. At Mattituck, Hoeg contributed on both ends of the field as a midfielder.
After the game ended, Hoeg said she was surprised to hear she had won the MVP.
“I think I was really overwhelmed with happiness,” she said. “Before going into the game, I didn’t think I would get that award because there’s so many great players on the field.”
Hoeg had been a part of the Under Armour All-America games the past two years when she played in the underclassmen games. This year, she had a chance to watch her sisters, Riley and Mackenzie, play in the tournament as part of the Long Island “Command” team. Riley is going into 10th grade and Mackenzie is going into ninth. Both have played on varsity at Mattituck the past two years.
The underclassmen team lost in the semifinals, Katie said.
Another Mattituck player, junior Chelsea Marlborough, played on the “Highlight” team.
The tournament features teams from Baltimore, New England and Philadelphia.
Sophia Triandafils, who’s going into her senior year at Shoreham-Wading River, represented Long Island on the “Highlight” team. On the boys side, a standout on the Wildcats’ boys team this past season, Xavier Arline, played on the Long Island “Command” team. Arline scored 43 goals as an eighth-grader this past spring and was the Suffolk County Rookie of the Year.
Photo Caption: Katie Hoeg holds her MVP trophy Saturday. (Credit: Courtesy photo)