LUTZ – She never even knew she was on the Steinbrenner High School lacrosse team. Turned out to be a pretty good thing.
Madison Coghan was a soccer player about to start classes at Steinbrenner back in ninth-grade. A friend gave her a lacrosse stick and they started to throw the ball around. Coghan could handle the stick and her friend noticed.
So her friend signed her up for the Steinbrenner club lacrosse team. “All I was doing was throwing it around,” Coghan said. “I liked it and decided I liked it more than soccer, so I kept going. It was fun.”
The person who didn’t even join the high school team on her own just ended up signing to play college lacrosse for St. Andrews University in North Carolina next year. She still has to get through her senior year, however. And now that lacrosse is a sport sanctioned by the Florida High School Athletic Association, she has a shot to bring Steinbrenner a state title.
“We can go all the way this year,” Coghan said. “We have a good team and we’ve won a lot. We want to go all the way.”
Last year saw the Warriors fall in an overtime loss to Wesley Chapel in the playoffs. Most of that team returns this season, led by Coghan.
When she isn’t suiting up for Steinbrenner, she plays for the Tampa Tribe travel team. She has duel roles between the two teams. She plays middie for the Warriors and attack for the Tribe.
The switch from soccer wasn’t a tough decision.
“I caught on to lacrosse so quickly,” Coghan said. “It was an easy decision. I knew this was my game.”
And soon, the letters from colleges started pouring in to Coghan’s mailbox. Lacrosse is still taking root in Florida and the traditional northern schools are just starting to recognize Florida as a potential lacrosse hotbed. Coghan got plenty of offers before committing to St. Andrews, a small private school in Laurinburg, about an hour from the South Carolina border.
Coghan is an honors student at Steinbrenner and plans to work her way to veterinarian’s school.
She’s come a long way for someone who was on a lacrosse team without her knowledge.
“I never knew but I’m glad it happened,” Coghan said. “I love this game.’’