Athlete Worth Watching: Lacey Eden of Archbishop Spalding High School
As a freshman, Lacey Eden wanted to play every sport offered at Archbishop Spalding. She limited herself to four.
Now a rising sophomore, she played jayvee soccer and ran cross country in the fall, skated on the boys and girls ice hockey teams in winter, and competed on the varsity lacrosse team in spring.
Outside of school, the 5-foot-7 Eden played on the Little Washington Capitals Bantam Major boys travel team and participated in AAU indoor track nationals.
It kept the Annapolis resident’s schedule quite busy.
“She’s always on the go, and she absolutely loves playing all the sports,” says Eden’s father Bill. “We don’t push her into it. It’s her drive and desire. We are the ones who shake our head and ask, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?”
Eden is not just winning participation trophies. She’s playing on championship teams and winning individual titles.
“I think she has the highest ceiling of any athlete we’ve ever had,” Archbishop Spalding Athletic Director Jeff Parsons says. “I’ve never seen another athlete like her. She’s so focused on doing everything. She doesn’t get tired. She doesn’t get worn out.
“She’s going from a cross country meet to a soccer practice in the evening,” he added. “There were a couple of times she’d play a couple of periods in a hockey game for Spalding and jump in the car and go practice (in Arlington, Virginia) for two more hours.”
She’s focused the most sharply on hockey.
USA Hockey invited Eden to a select national camp at St. Cloud University in Minnesota in July.
“I would not be surprised if in five or six years I turn on the TV and she’s playing in the Olympics,” Parsons says.
Eden, who has been playing on boys hockey teams for 10 years, carries a straight-A average, was valedictorian at Indian Creek Middle School, and has already received a scholarship offer from Northeastern. She has officially visited Wisconsin and has been aggressively recruited by Princeton, Dartmouth, and Ohio State.
“I want to go to a school that pushes me academically and athletically,” says Eden, noting she wants to commit to a college by the end of her sophomore year. “I am going to take my time deciding. I am going to visit as many schools as it takes until I really get that feeling.”
Bill Eden says his daughter will likely transfer to a hockey-oriented prep school after her sophomore year to enable her to grow more as a hockey player.
Shattuck-Saint Mary’s School in Minnesota and Bishop Kearney School in New York are two schools she’s considering.
Eden led Spalding to its first-ever mid-Atlantic Girls High School Hockey League championship by scoring four goals in a 4-3 victory over Bethesda’s Holton Arms in February.
The Little Capitals—an organization she’s been playing for the past two seasons—seem to have brought out the best in Eden.
She’s competed in national tournaments in Alabama, Arizona, and Ontario in recent years.
“Whenever we traveled, almost every place we played, someone would come and ask, ‘How is she playing for you at that level?’” Little Capitals coach Tom Morrisey says. “It is so rare. I have never seen another girl at Bantam Major playing boys. I had one college coach tell me she’s the second best player he’s seen in her age group in the country.”
Last fall, Eden won the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference cross country championship.
The race features the best high school runners in the Baltimore area from top-notch running programs like Maryvale and Notre Dame Prep.
“She runs like a 4:53, 4:54 mile,” Spalding cross country coach Mike Ward says. “For a girl to run that quick, I have been like, ‘Holy, moly!’”
Eden even found time to compete in the winter at several national indoor track meets in March and won the 3,000 and 1,500 meters the Amateur Athletic Union National Indoor Track Championships in Landover.
And last summer, she finished third in the 1,500 and sixth in the 3,000 in the USA Track and Field National Championships in Sacramento.
“As a sub-five minute miler, she could probably run on 60 percent of the Division I college teams right now,” says Ward, a former track and field coach at the University of Miami. Eden also had an impact on the Spalding lacrosse team as a midfielder.
“She is good for a couple of goals a game, dominates draw controls and guards the other team’s best offensive threat,” Spalding girls lacrosse coach Tara Restly says.
Eden, who also plays the violin in Spalding’s orchestra, has no plans to cut back on sports for her sophomore year.
“I love the challenge of playing different sports every season,” she says. “And I definitely like being busy and always having things to do. I never know what to do with myself when I am sitting at home.”