Upper Merion’s Davis putting team first

UPPER MERION — Forgive Anna Davis if she’s a tad confused these days.

The Upper Merion High junior and standout lacrosse low defender has already committed to Old Dominion University, where she will attempt, in a year or two, to shut down the best of the America Sun Conference’s top attackers.

The Vikings, however, have chosen to play Davis as an offensive midfielder, a role that doesn’t have Davis doing handsprings, but one she fully understands.

“I had a long talk with Coach (Angie Yanocha) about it, and I know it’s what is best for the team,’ Davis said, “and that’s the most important thing.

“It’s also been good for me because I’m working on my stick skills, which is something I need to work on. And I have three goals already.’

Davis, a player who doesn’t crave the attention that a top scorer normally receives, admitted she’s happier when the bright lights are focused elsewhere.

“I’m kind of used to not being in the spotlight,’ she said. “I don’t consider myself any better than anyone else.

“I was one of the top goal scorers for the soccer team, and I hated (the attention).’

And while Yanocha completely understands the situation, she said her decision to move Davis was strictly based on team needs.

“It’s just one of those years when we have a lot of defenders, and we’re kind of short on attackers,’ Yanocha said. “I feel more comfortable putting a player of Anna’s skill level up front where she’s really needed.’

Davis, a three-sport star for Upper Merion, began her athletic career in third grade, playing both basketball and soccer early on, then adding lacrosse.

“Honestly, I never thought I’d ever play lacrosse in college,’ she said. “I thought it would be basketball.

“I used sports as my outlet. I never wanted to be one of those girly girls.’

Davis excelled at all three, but was never convinced she had what it took to be a college-level lacrosse player.

That changed, years later, when a friend pointed her toward the PA Expresss, a club team playing out of Downingtown.

“My friend’s mom was one of the coaches,’ Davis said. “She asked me to try out, but I never thought I’d make it.’

Not only did Davis make it, but through that club team wound up drawing the attention of a number of college coaches, most notably from Old Dominion and Robert Morris.

“I played in a lot of summer tournaments and I got my name out there,’ Davis said.

She was not optimistic about her initial visit to ODU.

“When I made my first visit, I really wasn’t that interested,’ Davis said. “But I loved it there.’

Davis committed, by phone, following an unofficial visit, then checked in once more when she was treated to taking in a Monarchs game.

“I did a lot of research on a lot of schools,’ Davis said. “I felt that one was the best for me.’

Now what is best for Davis and Upper Merion is for her to be creating scoring chances rather then trying to prevent them.

“It’s tough,’ Davis laughed. “I keep going back (on defense), it happens all the time.

“But it’s what’s best for the team right now.’


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