One year ago, Anna Seanor was seeing yellow — and plenty of it. Then a sophomore, the Ohio State recruit and Jackson lacrosse standout was racking up nearly one yellow card a game for overly physical play. She accumulated too many to be eligible for All-American status with US Lacrosse, leaving her with a decision to make: change her approach or miss out on more postseason honors.
One year ago, Anna Seanor was seeing yellow — and plenty of it.
Then a sophomore, the Ohio State recruit and Jackson lacrosse standout was racking up nearly one yellow card a game for overly physical play. She accumulated too many to be eligible for All-American status with US Lacrosse (USL), leaving her with a decision to make: change her approach or miss out on more postseason honors.
She elected for the former and the result was first-team All-American status from USL. Along with Tori Blakeman of Mason, Seanor (57 goals) was one of two juniors in the state to be named to the first team.
“It was definitely a goal this year because last year I wasn’t eligible,” Seanor explained. “I had too many yellow cards. This year, I really restricted myself because I didn’t want to get too many yellow cards so I could get the All-American (honors). I was really excited when I got it because no one in my family has ever gotten it.”
Her more aggressive approach stemmed from the time she spends each summer playing with Midwestern Force, her Coclub team. The team competes in tournaments in New York, Maryland and surrounding states, where more physical play is tolerated. As a result, Seanor got into the habit of playing that same physical brand of lacrosse year-round and it led to more than a few whistles while competing for Jackson last spring.
For her junior season, Seanor changed her approach and adjusted from the more physical style she is accustomed to playing with her club team. She focused on using her stick and arms less to battle for positioning and to move attackers away from the goal. Her efforts paid off with just four yellow cards in her junior season.
“It’s a lot harder when you can’t play that way and you have to readjust your defense a lot,” Seanor said. “Positioning-wise, you can’t touch a girl or use your stick to stop her from coming into goal. This year already, I think I’ve improved on my defense a lot because instead of pushing her out of the way, it’s more about body positioning.”
The fact that Seanor needed to cut down on her physicality doesn’t come as a huge surprise. With older brothers Collin, 24, and Grant, 21, to battle with growing up, she couldn’t afford to be a girl who was afraid to get physical when the occasion called for it.
“I think people expect me to be physical because I grew up with two older brothers and it made me be more physical and stronger with them. For me to be able to play with them or compete with them, I had to be rougher,” Seanor said.
Page 2 of 3 - Sibling battles carved a toughness groove in Seanor’s mind that has benefited her as she has become one of the key figures in the recent rise of Jackson girls lacrosse from a good program to one that reached the state semifinals this season for the first time in school history.
Her toughness is also an asset when tackling a busy schedule that sees her either playing, training or taking part in camps around North America over the course of the summer. With stops in South Carolina, Canada and Columbus among others, Seanor won’t be spending much time lounging at home by the pool this summer. She will travel with her club team for much of her summer and has already been to a camp at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
Ahead are a camp at Ohio State and the 2013 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup Oshawa (Ontario), Canada, with a vacation in New Hampshire sandwiched in between her lacrosse calendar entries. This past week, she spent her four days at home after returning from South Carolina working out at 4.40 Performance in Green, where she does strength and conditioning work to prepare for the upcoming season.
Despite losing team co-captains Michaela Puterbaugh and Monica Campbell to graduation, the Polar Bears have strong expectations of returning to the state final four next season and Seanor is a big reason why. She knows that this past season’s success and her own individual accolades don’t mean the program has made it to the pinnacle, but understands there will be something of a target on her and her teammates next year.
“Anna has matured as a player and handles adversity like a collegiate player. She is always giving 110 percent and asking the same of her teammates,” Jackson coach Elizabeth McCormick said.
The team’s goal is to return to the state final four and win a title to secure a spot on the wall of the main hallway leading to the school’s lunch area. Each of the Jackson teams to have won a state title, including the 2010 boys basketball team, have a large reprint of their team photo on the wall and Seanor and her teammates want to claim the next open spot on that wall.
“Next year, if they (opponents) face-guard me or double-team me, hopefully we’ll be fine because our depth on the team is so great. I want us to get better as a team, work together and communicate better so we can make it back to states,” Seanor concluded.
In between now and then, she may find some time to put down her lacrosse stick and catch up on her Netflix queue ... but probably not too much time. There are still goals to score and others to accomplish.
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