By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Cranbourne East lacrosse star Shaylee Stringer has earned her stellar success with more than a few bruises.
At just 14, she has won a spot in the under-19 Australian squad.
She’s whacked more than a 100 goals in a season, finished club best-and-fairest six times, won three premierships and was ranked first in the national under-15 team.
“The key is fitness and great hand-eye co-ordination,” she says.
“It takes a lot of practice and also requires you to be a great team player.
“You definitely can’t win a game of lacrosse on your own.”
Shaylee got into the sport by watching her dad, granddad and uncle play.
She recounts the injury toll on her lacrosse-mad family, such as her dad’s broken collarbone and her grandfather’s dislodged front teeth.
Granddad was wearing a helmet at the time too.
“He actually still plays,” she says.
“He’s an old fart on the field, absolutely kills it,” she adds with a laugh.
Other girls have had their noses and fingers busted by the flailing titanium and fibreglass sticks.
The Berwick College student keeps up a gruelling training regime.
For starters, it’s twice a week for her Caulfield and Malvern clubs. Then there’s the state and national practice as far away as Altona.
She follows the sport on YouTube, with a dream of playing for Australia and in the US professional league, the WPLL.
“To be honest, I have a lot to learn,” she says.
“I will never know everything about lacrosse and I will continue to have fun learning and growing as a player.”