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Ward Melville's Yuna Hur excelling in array of fields besides lacrosse

Ward Melville's Yuna Hur rushes for a ground

Ward Melville's Yuna Hur rushes for a ground ball against Bay Shore in the Suffolk Class A girls lacrosse final at Dowling Sports Complex. (May 31, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Six days before the championship against Bay Shore, Ward Melville's Yuna Hur is traveling more than 140 miles to compete for the divisional U.S. national schoolgirls' lacrosse team in Pennsylvania.

After the Memorial Day non-vacation, her schedule doesn't get any lighter. There's school (all honors and AP), the future business leaders' club, Spanish Honor Society meetings, Tri-Music Honor Society, National Honor Society and orchestra, for which she's an accomplished violinist. She currently holds a 100.22 average, and her list of activities, community service and awards is two pages long.

Oh yes, right. Lacrosse. For the Division I-commit, there's a whole lot of that, too.

"I think self-motivation really helps," said Hur, a junior who committed to Brown University in 2014. "And the support really helps from teammates and coaches. They motivate me to do the best that I can do. It's a team game and it's not just about me. My drive comes from the people I'm surrounded by."

Perhaps unexpected words from someone who's done the whole self-motivation thing since she was a young child, who began playing the violin at age 31/2. But Hur demurs even with her off-the-field successes. She said her desire to do well in school was often egged on by her cousins, who all went to prestigious colleges (Cornell, Yale, Princeton). Hur added that she receives copious encouragement from her parents, who support and transport her through her busy schedule. Still, that internal drive . . .

"I really strive to be involved in everything I can," Hur said. "School is the main goal. Lacrosse is secondary."

Not that second-tier status is anything to scoff at. The attack has 49 goals so far and, along with girls such as Emily Rogers-Healion and Deryn Blaney, is one of the mainstays on a team that recently defeated Northport in the Suffolk semifinal. Her calculated play suits the Patriots -- a well-coached squad that relies as much on tactic as skill.

"I think what happens in the classroom translates very well on the field in several aspects," Hur said. "It's not a picture-perfect translation, but I think it helps me see the field. It really helps with my vision and game sense. I can't say I actually study lacrosse, but I watch game film, and if I'm thinking outside the box like I do in the classroom, I can see the field really well."

The Patriots will need all that and more Thursday, when they take on the first-seeded team that defeated them handily in last year's county final. The consensus among her teammates is that they were nervous and outgunned because of a lack of experience.

"We definitely know it will be a highly competitive game," Hur said. "We're ranked as the underdog . . . But we made a huge statement when we won against them in double overtime. We now know what we have to work on, and we can capitalize on the mistakes we make in practice and also try to capitalize on their mistakes."

A studied approach to potent rival? Who would have thought it.

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