Oregon female goalie earns starting role on school’s boys lacrosse team

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

Girls lacrosse had no appeal to Sarah Humphreys. Boys lacrosse? That's a different story.

"From what my friends described to me about girls lacrosse, it wasn't anything that sounded fun or challenging," the Hillsboro (Ore.) High boys lacrosse team's senior goalkeeper told The Oregonian. "I would much rather play with the guys."

Sarah Humphreys is only the second female to play boys lacrosse in Oregon prep history -- The Oregonian
Sarah Humphreys is only the second female to play boys lacrosse in Oregon prep history -- The Oregonian

Since Hillsboro doesn't even have a girls lacrosse team, Humphreys could have played for nearby Century (Hillsboro, Ore.) High, but instead she chose to try out for the boys team.

"We were a little skeptical at first," Hillsboro boys lacrosse coach Robert Beard told The Oregonian in its fantastic feature on Humphreys. As a result, defenseman Joe Puncochar punched up a petition that put the team's unanimous support behind Humphreys.

So, Humphreys gave up the "boring" sport of softball last spring and tried out for the same lacrosse position she's played for the Hillsboro girls soccer team: goalkeeper. She made the team, and when the team's starting goalie became academically ineligible, she took over the starting spot three practices into her junior season, The Oregonian said.

When she took the field last season, Humphreys became just the second female prep competitor to play boys lacrosse in the past 10 years, Oregon High School Boys Lacrosse Association commissioner Dan Badders told the paper.

"She's better than most of the goalies I've seen," added Beard. "Goalie is like the quarterback on defense. She keeps those guys in line. She doesn't hesitate to tell them when they mess up. She'll get right up in their face."

Now, Humphreys, who could reportedly receive Division I women's lacrosse scholarship attention, is just one of the guys, except when opponents discover her gender.

"When they find out I'm a girl, I don't think they take it easy on me, but they're a lot nicer," Humphreys told The Oregonian. "Every once in a while, they even hit on me."

"I've had guys ask if she's cute," added Puncochar, "or if she has a boyfriend."

Beard even played Humphreys on defense during a recent blowout, and she reportedly held her own against the more physical boys lacrosse players, so any prospective suitors better watch what they say, or they just might get hit.

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