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With the global COVID-19 pandemic putting an abrupt end to on-field instruction for the time being, US Lacrosse has pivoted to a #LaxAtHome hashtag across social media to encourage lacrosse players of all ages to get creative with their at-home workouts.

The Meagher family from Greenville, S.C., took the trend to heart.

Because weather doesn’t always allow for outdoor practice, Doug Meagher set up an indoor space for his children to practice. The Meagher basement features a full-size goal and enough room for Mason, a junior committed to the Air Force, to shoot on his younger sister, Dylan, a 12-year-old goalkeeper.

Rubber balls and tennis balls are encouraged, but real lacrosse balls inevitably find their way into the mix.

“We have a really large basement, and I’ve just accepted the fact that I have to repair all my drywall once they move out,” Doug Meagher joked.

Mason Meagher, a long-stick midfielder, doesn’t have to be dragged downstairs to shoot on his younger sister. The two share the same competitive drive and relish the opportunity to bond over the same game.

Sure, the occasional spat happens between siblings, but they’re able to move past it and work together to improve.

“You almost kind of forget that she’s your younger sister,” Mason Meagher said. “Getting carried away in the basement, you forget she’s 12 and a sixth-grader. We’re both competitive.

“We live to fight another day,” he added with a laugh.

Getting carried away does happen from time to time. “Sometimes I have to tell him to stop,” Dylan Meagher said. “He gets a little carried away and beams it really fast.”

Prior to the pandemic, the family’s love of lacrosse was directly proportional to miles driven. Dylan Meagher plays for the Queen City Stars, a travel team in Charlotte, N.C. Mason Meagher plays for the program’s brother team, Team 24/7. That’s roughly a two-hour drive each way, three times per week.

“South Carolina is a football and baseball state,” Doug Meagher said. “Lacrosse is coming, but it’s nowhere near what Charlotte is. It’s so they can excel and get noticed.”

Those long drives give the siblings plenty of time to bond — while also figuring out what to listen to on the drive.

“It normally just starts off listening to music,” Mason Meagher said. “Then we’ll get in some little arguments. We’re so competitive that we’re just constantly competing. It’s in a fun way.

“It normally starts out with her telling me my music is bad. Then she plays the same couple songs on repeat. That’s how it goes.”

They can’t wait for the day they’ll be able to hop in the car and make the drive to play again. But for now, at-home training is what’s important. Mason Meagher said he hasn’t had much virtual instruction, instead leaning on the arsenal of drills he’s practiced to stay sharp.

His sister, though, has found value in a smattering of unique drills she’s learned through Zoom calls with her Queen City Stars team.

“What they’re missing is the sprints and the real physicality, but she’s been doing different drills that she may not have been doing in a different situation,” Doug Meagher said.

Brittany Philip, a director of the Rising Stars Program with Queen City Stars, said Dylan Meagher’s eagerness to learn has made training her a joy. Though she is a natural between the pipes, Dylan Meagher is also a skilled field player and often practices multiple positions, Philip said.

Philip pointed the Meagher family to US Lacrosse’s Lax at Home resources for more material. Big brother was happy to oblige.

“We’re drawn to kids who want to learn more, and we want to give them more,” Philip said. “We’re doing virtual practices right now, and her being a goalie, sure Mason isn’t an attacker, but he helps her out.”

Shots from players Dylan Meagher’s own age seem slower after standing between the pipes as her brother peppers her with shots in the basement or on the field before games. She said she can “feel the difference” after the intense warm-ups.

“It’s awesome having a brother into the same stuff as me,” she said.