From Attacker to Analyst: Sheehan Stanwick Burch Reflects on Distinguished Career

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TEWAARATON FOUNDATION

Sheehan Stanwick Burch is a host of the annual Tewaaraton Award ceremony.


On Saturday evening at the Grand Lodge in Cockeysville, Md., Sheehan Stanwick Burch will be inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a truly great player. 

She was a four-time All-American at Georgetown University, earning first-team honors in both 2000 and 2001, second-team status in 1999 and third-team honors in 1998. Burch was the national attacker of the year in 2001, as well as a Tewaaraton Award finalist. 

She was also a three-time team MVP at Georgetown and is still the school’s all-time leader in goals scored (232) and total points (330). She scored at least 50 goals in each of her four seasons, and her 75 goals, 40 assists and 115 points continue to rank as single-season records for the Hoyas. 

Burch spent three years as a member of the U.S. Women’s Elite Team (2000-02) and two years on the U.S. Women’s Developmental Team (1998-99). She has previously been inducted to both the USA Lacrosse Greater Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame (2012) and the USA Lacrosse Potomac Chapter Hall of Fame (2015). 

Burch remains active in the sport as a television analyst and commentator.

Ahead of her induction into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Burch joined USA Lacrosse’s Paul Ohanian via Zoom to discuss her life in lacrosse. Below is an excerpt of their conversation.







Paul Ohanian: How did you end up at Georgetown?

Sheehan Stanwick Burch: The recruiting process, I still remember it like yesterday. It was really fun, but also very overwhelming. I can’t imagine what the athletes today have to deal with, just with the so many different levels of social media and the emails and texts probably all hours of the evening. Georgetown wasn’t really on my radar that much. My dad did go there. And my grandfather went there as well. But it wasn’t like they were pushing me to look there. And when I started opening the search, I was doing a lacrosse camp and Kim Simons happened to be one of the coaches at the camp. And I was just awestruck. I mean, there was a player camp or game, and I saw her in action playing, and there was something about her that I really liked. And then when we started the process, I still didn’t know if I wanted to go to Georgetown, and she told me a story about her experience at Princeton when she went there. They weren’t in the top 10. By the time she finished her senior year, they had won the national championship, and she said, ‘You know, I can see Georgetown being that type of program, I want to build that.’ And it really made me want to be part of something. A lot of the other programs were amazing. But they’ve already had that success. And I wanted to be part of it, whether we ended up making that final goal or not. So, when I went to Georgetown and I immediately knew it was the right feel, and then met the team. … and it just felt like home. And it was close. Being the oldest of eight kids, it was appealing to have home games where my whole family could get back and forth to. We made it to the national championship, and it was almost the perfect story. Didn’t end up winning, but it still was great to be part of it. And I hold that really dear.

Paul Ohanian: What’s the lacrosse experience been like for you as a whole?

Sheehan Stanwick Burch: A lot of people say lacrosse is family. And it is, but it’s so much more. I mean, it’s family in terms of the people that I’ve met throughout the years. And then often times the people I meet in my adult life are people I played against when I was a kid or went to summer camp with. So, it’s that connection, but it’s also a larger scale. It means so much more to me for my immediate family, me and my seven siblings and my parents and the relationships that were built. My mom dragged me to practice, my dad working with me so much and instilling so much about work ethic. I’m the oldest of the eight kids, so with my younger siblings, the way we stayed connected was going to their games when they were in college. Doing the TV side of it, I often had to call them to get an understanding of, ‘How do you like the rule changes, how’s it feel on the field?’ It was a lot of connections, and now with my own kids playing, you just see a different way to relate. Lacrosse means family to me, in terms of the broader sense, because it is a great community, but also, it’s really tied together and made my own family really strong.

Paul Ohanian: Do you see the game differently as a TV analyst?

Sheehan Stanwick Burch: I definitely think I see it differently. And it’s funny because I look at it differently in my different roles. When I’m on television, as an analyst, I’m looking at it completely different and thinking about more of the strategy. And I don’t necessarily wear that same hat when I’m watching my kids play. I’m not as vocal or voicing every single opinion. I look at it completely different. And even seeing the youth game. I realize now, especially with young girls, it is so hard to learn, and those early years, it can be very frustrating, just in terms of learning how to catch and cradle and move. I appreciate that growth. And it is amazing to see when that light bulb goes on. So, I look at it differently and appreciate how it’s changed over time. I’ve loved a lot of the rule changes, but there’s times where I feel like this game is almost so far apart from what I played. It’s so fast, full of contact, and it had a lot of contact when I was playing, but now it’s almost a different sport at times. But it goes back to the same kind of basics and principles that I enjoy. No matter what, if I’m a fan watching it at home on my couch, it’s completely different than if I’m in the television booth.

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