Going away from goalie specific content here to answer a question I received. What are the differences between high school and club lacrosse? First, I want to start by saying my answers are not facts, they are my opinions that I have formed through my experiences.
I have heard from girls that say they got cut from their high school team junior year and they think they're done playing. This logic is totally off in my opinion. Just because you get cut doesn't mean you aren't a good player, that you can't get recruited, or that you should never play again. Especially with the position of goalie, there are only a few spots that can be filled. Getting cut from your high school team is no reason to quit and give up.
I believe you shouldn't give up because in my opinion, where you go to high school (unless you're at a school like McDonogh or St. Stephen's/St. Agnes) does not matter for recruiting. How much you play, your stats, none of that is truly what makes you shine in a coach's eye.
Personally, my sophomore year of high school I had to play on the fresh-soph team. I thought it was game over, that coaches would think I wasn't as good being there. However, I had to play there due to insane transfer rules for multi-sport athletes. But guess where I ended up? Playing at a Division 1 level. One of my best friends got cut from the team her junior year, kept playing and ended up at another Division 1 school.
This is all to say that yes, club lacrosse is the most important in my opinion when it comes to recruiting. Side note - playing lacrosse in college is just like the real world, it's all about who you know. Yes, of course, you have to be skilled, but your skill has to be seen in order to make it happen. I've witnessed it myself, that clubs with coaches who REALLY know the coaches get their players recruited more than those club teams that don't. Make sure you find a club with a designated recruiting coordinator. It's crucial to have someone on staff dedicated to this role.
Please don't think that if you don't make the team, if you don't score those 5 goals, have those 5 saves, that it will impact your chances of continuing at the next level. When coaches see you play during the summer and fall months, that is where you want to focus. Show your heart, hustle, and determination, because that's what will get you recruited more than scoring 10 goals in one high school game (although impressive!).
Taking a step away from the recruiting aspect, the differences lie in your leagues, coaching staff, logistics will vary by the school and the district. The club scene is at slightly higher skill level in most cases. Their mission is to get you recruited and succeed at the next level when you do. It's not all about wins and losses, even though we all like to win. Even though high school lacrosse is usually more focused on the wins and losses, it tends to be a more fun environment when girls are going through the recruiting process since there aren't coaches watching your every move. The pressure is off, and in this setting, many girls thrive. For me, as I said in a previous post, I was always a perfectionist so it didn't matter if coaches were watching or not, pressure was always on. That's a whole other story for another time though.
I hope this helps clear some things up, don't give up and don't get bent out of shape if things don't go your way. I firmly believe if you work hard, good things will happen!!