Leaving a lacrosse legacy | SteamboatToday.com

Leaving a lacrosse legacy

Local pioneer inducted into hall of fame

Dave Shively

— Danielle Gallagher, who called Steamboat Springs home for several years, was inducted last month into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in Baltimore.

Before hitting Steamboat’s ski slopes Wednesday, the 39-year-old joked that the induction was simply a move to get her to retire from the field.

The Long Island native and College of William & Mary graduate was a four-time member of the U.S. World Cup team and currently ranks second all-time of the U.S. scoring list – impressive considering the world competitions are held every four years. She is now debating whether she will make another run at the 2009 World Cup in the Czech Republic with players nearly half her age.

Between helping the U.S. to three World Cup championships, Gallagher was bit by the ski bug and moved to Steamboat in the early 1990s.

“I loved the town,” Gallagher said. “It’s the perfect place to train at altitude. Skiing bumps all day was great for my footwork. I would step on the field and be in better shape than people who would do dry-land training.”

In 1993, Gall-

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agher introduced women’s lacrosse to Steamboat Springs High School with the help of Charles Abernathy.

“We might have had 15 kids, with three subs a game if we were lucky,” Gallagher said. “The kids were coming right off the slopes, but they were athletes.”

Introducing the team to the game’s fundamentals and harnessing their raw athleticism, Gallagher qualified that

team for a trip to the state playoffs.

She equated the Steamboat team’s success with that of her most lasting memory from a prolific career at the highest level of the sport – her 2001 world cup championship team.

“We just gelled so well,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher coached for another two years in Steamboat before moving on the collegiate level, moving from Colorado College to Notre Dame. She has returned in years past to coach local youth clinics.

Currently, Gallagher directs a traveling Long Island high school all-star program, runs a series of camps and clinics and coaches the Manhasset High School girls’ team.

“That’s why I need my ski days,” Gallagher said, who still makes it a priority to return to Steamboat before the spring lacrosse season begins.

To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com