2024 Northwest Herald Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year: Crystal Lake Central co-op’s Anna Starr

Starr wins top honor for 2nd straight year

Crystal Lake Central’s Anna Starr, left, moves the ball against Lake Forest’s Megan Rocklein during girls lacrosse supersectional action at Metcalf Field on the campus of Crystal Lake Central Tuesday.

Crystal Lake Central co-op’s Anna Starr had a lot to live up to this spring after an impressive freshman season.

She was up to the challenge.

Starr elevated her game to another level as a sophomore. After finishing with 74 goals, 23 assists and 183 draw controls during her freshman season, she tallied another 86 goals, 24 assists and 220 draw controls as a sophomore.

Starr accumulated those statistics from the attack position despite usually not playing full games since Central regularly held large leads late in games. Coaches across the state and area noticed, unanimously voting her to the Illinois Girls Lacrosse Coaches Association’s All-State first team for the second time.

“I knew what to expect,” Starr said. “I was definitely more confident than I was in my freshman year. It helped that I had the entire team to help support me as well.”

Starr also helped Central continue its recent run of success. The Tigers won their fourth straight Fox Valley Conference title with a 6-0 record and captured their third straight sectional title. Central lost 9-6 to Lake Forest in the Crystal Lake Central Supersectional.

For her continued excellence, Starr was named the Northwest Herald’s Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year for a second straight season. Huntley junior Katie Ferrara, who led the FVC with 96 goals, also was considered for the award.

Starr recently talked to sports reporter Michal Dwojak about how she changed her game, her leadership role and whether she has any superstitions.

Crystal Lake Central’s Anna Starr, front, moves past Lake Forest’s Megan Rocklein during girls lacrosse supersectional action at Metcalf Field on the campus of Crystal Lake Central Tuesday.

Did you change your game during your sophomore season?

Starr: I definitely expanded my game. I didn’t stop doing any of the things I did my freshman year because they were working. I did learn some new moves and some new plays that our coaches went over to help create different ways to score.

Did you feel like you had more of a leadership role on and off the field?

Starr: I took on more of a leadership role than I had last year, but I still wasn’t as much as a leader as our seniors were. They did a great job of leading us through the whole season, just being vocal leaders on the field. Having them on the team definitely helped me be more confident as well.

What did it mean to win another FVC title?

Starr: We’ve never lost a conference game, so we were really hoping to keep that streak going. When we played Huntley the first time and the score was 3-2, it was an amazing defensive effort that held them to two goals. We were kind of under a lot of pressure having never lost to Huntley, so it was important that we got the job done.

What did it mean for the program to win a third straight sectional title?

Starr: We had a couple goals at the beginning of the season and one of them was to win the sectional. We were focusing on that all throughout practice, throughout the entire season. Just working hard so that we would be able to get to that point, have the opportunity to win. Once we were in that sectional game, we just knew what we had to do. We had been working on it every single day in practice. We were able to win, and it worked out.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your lacrosse career thus far?

Starr: The coaches at Crystal Lake Central have had a big impact on me. I’ve known them for so long. I’ve been going to the Central lacrosse camps when I was younger. So they just encouraged me to keep getting better. Once I finally was in high school, they’ve done a really good job of continuing to help me grow my skills and have the confidence to do well in high school.

Which one of your teammates inspired you the most this season?

Starr: I would say Addie Bechler. She had a pretty bad hip injury and she ended up having surgery in the winter. She was able to come back for our last couple of games and she was able to integrate herself into our offense, she was able to score. That was really inspirational, that she was able to come back and she knew what to do.

What is one thing that people don’t know about you?

Starr: I know a lot of random trivia. That’s probably my hidden talent.

Do you have any superstitions before a match?

Starr: I wouldn’t call myself a superstitious person, but I do always wear pink socks for every game. It’s kind of my trademark at this point. I started in fifth grade when my parents wanted to be able to see me on the field, so I had these bright neon-pink socks that I wear to every game. The tradition just stuck and I wear them to this day.

What is your favorite TV show?

Starr: It’s definitely “The Amazing Race.” I just love the idea of traveling, and I think the way it’s set up is a competitive reality show. I like seeing how people are able to complete the challenges. I love seeing different parts of the world.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Starr: I would love to go to Italy.

What was your favorite class this past year?

Starr: This past year, I really enjoyed my math class. My teacher was super fun and the subject matter was interesting to learn about.

What are your goals as you progress to the 2nd half of your high school career?

Starr: The past two years, we’ve lost to Lake Forest every single time we’ve played them. So I’m hoping next year we’re finally able to beat them and make it to state when we beat them.

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