NCC's Maas emerges as lacrosse force
By her own admission, Madison Maas was a bit late to lacrosse.
Growing up in Burnsville, Minnesota, she started in the sport in the seventh grade, when most other players began three or even five years sooner. Lacrosse was a young sport in Burnsville at that point, having only been around for a couple of years. Maas got into the sport when she and a friend decided to “pick up a stick and see what all the fuss was about,” she told the Will County Gazette.
They were “terrible” at first, she said. But they got the hang of it in short order.
“Before lacrosse, I was a hockey goalie for six years, so it was definitely a huge change,” Maas said. “But I don't regret leaving hockey for lacrosse — best decision I ever made.”
North Central College likely would agree. Maas, a senior and captain on the Cardinals' women's lacrosse team, is one of the team's top scorers. Team statistics show Maas leads the team with 35 goals as of April 2, including a total of five in two games March 1 and 4. That stretch earned her College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player of the Week honors.
Last season, she was third on the team in goals with 51 and fourth in assists with 18. In the CCIW, she was sixth in goals per game (2.83) and seventh in points per game (3.83).
Pace of play and the team aspect of lacrosse are two aspects Maas loves about the game.
“The game of lacrosse is very fast-paced and it requires a lot of strategy, which I like. But more importantly I love that it's a team sport and requires 12 people on the field at once,” she said.
Maas was recruited by NCC during her junior year of high school. Naperville was already an area she knew — and liked — from when she played there in the Indian Prairie Showdown while she was a freshman. Coming to NCC has been good for her on and off the field, she said.
“I have made some of the most rewarding friendships because of this program and because of that it's made me become a more selfless player,” she said. “Not to say I was a selfish player before, but it has taught me the true meaning of what it is to be on a team.”
Maas' immediate goals for lacrosse include challenging for the CCIW title — as of April 10, according to cciw.org, the Cardinals are 7-4 and tied for second with two other league teams — and to “find success within each other,” she said. Long-term, she would like to continue in the sport by coaching. She helps coach in the New Wave lacrosse program, and has coached the summer lacrosse program back in Burnsville. Maas also is considering going after a master's degree in business after graduation, and could look into a graduate-assistant gig in the sport.
“If I move back home to Minnesota after graduation, I would love to go back to where it all started and coach for my high school team,” she said. “That would be pretty awesome, but only time will tell, I guess.”
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