In House Haus, Lacrosse Beckons Every Morning

Katie Haus of the WPLL's Fire and John Haus of the PLL's Whipsnakes both play professionally and for the U.S. national teams.


Katie Haus awoke early Monday morning to head onto the Penn State campus to help run the women’s lacrosse program’s camp for middle-school players.

After helping her pack up supplies for camp, her husband, Penn State men’s lacrosse assistant coach John Haus IV, was off to recruit.

“It’s pretty crazy,” said Katie Haus, a former Mount St. Mary’s assistant coach who works more in an administrative capacity for the Nittany Lions. “For John being a coach, he’s constantly recruiting and trying to get to his games. I’m director of operations, so I don’t participate in recruiting, but there’s still a lot of logistics. It’s still crazy. There’s a lot of hellos and goodbyes in passing. Our schedules are completely hectic.”

The Hauses are coming up on their two-year wedding anniversary in October, but have yet to take a honeymoon. Their lives revolve — quite quickly — around lacrosse. Few were happier than them when the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League and the Premier Lacrosse League announced a partnership in January to cohost games and youth events.

Katie Haus, a member of the U.S. women’s team since 2010 and a two-time World Cup gold medalist, competes for the WPLL’s Fire. John Haus, who played for the gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. men’s team, is one of several former Maryland players on the PLL’s Whipsnakes. That’s where they met — College Park, where Katie was a two-time Tewaaraton Award winner as the top collegiate player in the country and where John was a three-time All-American midfielder. Both graduated in 2013.

“I’ve enjoyed the fact that they’ve connected them, because it’s allowed me to be around Katie more,” John Haus said of the PLL-WPLL partnership. “With recruiting, I’m pretty busy. To be at the same venue on the same weekend has been a positive. I’ve enjoyed it, and she’s enjoyed it. She was there Saturday night [at Homewood Field in Baltimore] and she was there when we were in Gillette. From both sides, it’s been a positive addition.”







For the second time this summer, the WPLL and PLL held events at the same venue on the same weekend to bring fans together in support of women’s and men’s pro lacrosse as one. They opened the WPLL season June 1-2 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

“I think it’s really great,” Katie Haus said. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase our sport as a unified and united front. It gives a good opportunity for young boys and girls to see our sport at the highest level. The PLL has done a great job of building a marketing platform. We’ve used some of that and been able to piggyback off it. It’s great to team up with the PLL in their first season, and they’ve done a tremendous job.”

After the PLL played a doubleheader before a sold-out crowd at Homewood Field on Saturday, the women drew another large crowd Sunday for their doubleheader.

“I went to the 7:30 game Saturday,” Katie Haus said of the Atlas-Whipsnakes contest billed as a continuation of the historic Johns Hopkins-Maryland college rivalry. “That was absolutely incredible. It was sold out. The stands were packed. People were standing around the field. It’s a great atmosphere.

“There weren’t as many people for ours, but there was still a pretty good crowd there. Being in Baltimore can only help. A lot of the tournaments that were going on helped draw some of the crowd, especially for the later game for the men. And being at home where it’s very accessible for a lot of people helped.”

John had one assist, two ground balls, and two caused turnovers in the Whipsnakes’ 15-10 win over Atlas to stay unbeaten.

“I thought he did really, really well,” Katie Haus said. “He stepped into a defensive midfield role in that game. I think he played extremely well. The pace of play is on a different level with the 52-second shot clock. It’s different than you’re used to. It’s exciting for him to be a part of it and keep evolving his game.”

Katie Haus had one goal and one assist in the Fire’s 13-9 loss to the Brave. The Fire are still looking for their first win, while the Brave improved to 1-1.

“The more we can get used to each other and start to capitalize on a couple things, the better we’ll be,” Katie Haus said. “We’ve been a little rusty with our stickwork and trying to get used to each other’s style and where each other are going to be on the field. The more that we can play, the more tendencies we can show. The fast-paced nature, other teams have taken advantage of that. The Brave were trying to take advantage of going right off the draw. Those are some of the things we can start to look to take advantage of.”

PHOTO BY JEFFREY MATE/WPLL

 

The Hauses share a love of the sport and desire to see it grow. Seeing the partnership of their leagues has been a welcome development.

“Being able to join these two leagues together has been nothing but good for the game,” John Haus said. “Hopefully both leagues can take off and gain some traction and allow each other to feed off each other. Both the men’s side and women’s side have enjoyed having the company of each other at these events.”

Playing lacrosse at the professional level is something that both of the Hauses value. It’s been something unique that they share.

“It’s fun to still be able to play the sport we love and have the opportunity to play with some of the best of the best,” Katie Haus said. “The longer we can do that, the longer we’ll do it.”

PHOTO BY SAM BRETTSCHNEIDER/PLL

 

The PLL-WPLL partnership is really an extension of what the Hauses experienced at Maryland, where the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are very close. They didn’t really get to know each other until their sophomore year. They started dating as juniors. They continued to date after graduation. Katie moved on to graduate school and coached at Mount St. Mary’s, while John had coaching stops at Dickinson, High Point and Furman. They were engaged when John was hired by the Penn State men’s team and Katie took a volunteer role with the Penn State women’s team before being named director of operations.

“Last year, they had an official opening, and I was able to step into that role,” Katie Haus said. “I lucked out. Being so heavily involved in lacrosse, I wanted to be a part of that. I’m lucky and fortunate to be a part of it.”

Katie and John Haus said they feel fortunate to share so much with lacrosse. Both of their families boast a significant pedigree in the sport. Katie’s sister, Lauren Skellchock, is the head coach at Mount St. Mary’s and formerly starred as a player at Johns Hopkins and in the U.S. national team program. John’s father, John Haus III, is the head coach at Lebanon Valley College after coaching at North Carolina and Johns Hopkins. His brother, Will, also a member of Team USA, is coaching at Malvern Prep (Pa.). Their younger brother, Grant, will be a freshman at Penn State.

“Probably one of the better things is we’re both in the sport of lacrosse,” John Haus said. “Our schedules are very similar. It’s not like she’s in field hockey, and I’m in lacrosse. We have very similar schedules. Fall’s less chaotic. Winter starts to ramp up. Then spring is pretty hectic, but our schedules feed off each other. We share the same field. If we’re early, they’re late. If they’re early, we’re late. We can come home and have dinner. Summers, we spend the least time together. I’m on the road recruiting. We’ve been gone on weekends playing. But that’s also given us the opportunity to see each other much more than we normally would.”

Katie Haus was the first overall pick in the inaugural draft of the United Women’s Lacrosse League by the Baltimore Ride. Camp and clinic commitments made it hard to play that first year, and the next summer she celebrated a gold medal — twice, actually — while representing Team USA at the World Cup in England and the World Games in Poland. She was the first pick of the third round by the Fire for the inaugural WPLL season last year.

“Each year, they’re going to get more experience and hopefully they can grow on the number of teams,” Katie Haus said of the emerging professional women’s lacrosse outlet. “There’s an unbelievable amount of talent that we can showcase. Even in women’s national team camp, there were 14 current college players or recent grads. It’s amazing how talented they are. I’m out there thinking everyone is super fast and super skilled. It’s only going to get better. I’m excited about where we’re headed. The pro team can only guide us where we can be. And Jenny [Levy] has the national team going in the right direction. It looks good.”

Both Hauses remain in the U.S. player pool. John was on the U.S. men’s team that won gold at the world championship in Israel last summer. Katie was in the stands for it. Katie competed in a three-day training camp last week, as the U.S. continues preparations for the 2021 World Cup that will be hosted by US Lacrosse at Towson.

They are thrilled by the chance to continue to play and support each other and the growth of lacrosse.

“It’s really, really fun,” Katie Haus said. “With the shorter field and pace of play, it’s quick. Getting out and running around and getting shots, it’s certainly exciting to play.”

And having the chance to play in the same location for two weekends has been extra special for the couple that’s still in the honeymoon phase, even if they haven’t actually had a honeymoon.

“That will hopefully be taken care soon,” John Haus said. “We have to come to an agreement on a time and place. She deserves that, and she deserves some vacation time. Hopefully we can get to that one as soon as possible.”

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