Tight-Knit Girls’ Lacrosse Team Finds Success

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Tight-Knit Girls’ Lacrosse Team Finds Success

The lacrosse team warms up before their last league game.

The lacrosse team warms up before their last league game.

Gabrielle Daley

The lacrosse team warms up before their last league game.

Gabrielle Daley

Gabrielle Daley

The lacrosse team warms up before their last league game.

Gabrielle Daley, Editor-In-Chief

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With a record of 14-4, the girls’ lacrosse team turned to a new chapter. This season, they received the Valley League title for the first time in the program’s history, with a league record of 8-0.  They won their playoff game against Nashoba 14-8, but lost to Algonquin 3-18. The arrival of Coach Canata and Coach Giang last year helped transform the team and showcased the team’s talents.

“We are friends on and off the field. That kind of teamwork really shows in games,” said the senior captain and goalie Emma Bowler. Part of what makes this team stand out is not their actions on the field, but the fact that they’re a family. Most of the girls have played together since the second and third grade. “I feel like we have such good connections. We read each other so well,” said junior Captain Elise Paier.

Gabrielle Daley
Seniors Ariana Torres, Jackie Koziol, Lindsay Aubin, Bianca DiBenedetto, Maddie Schwede, and Emma Bowler on their senior night.

The coaches have worked with them every day to prepare their skills for what’s to come on the field. During practice, the team splits up and the girls scrimmage against each other often to better their teamwork. The coaches are never negative and only give constructive criticism. A large part of their success attributes to the positive environment they make.

This year has been outstanding for them. Their rival, Westfield, fell short of beating them twice. West Side G-Lax has also been undefeated in their league. To draw up more support and crowds, the coaches have used social media like Instagram and Twitter to advertise their games. The accounts post daily, with pictures of the girls in action and also just having a great time. “There’s never any negativity,” stated Elise Paier.

The team is also known for hosting a game the past two years in honor of Alisa Kotorobay, a WSHS senior and athlete, who had brain cancer. The past two years they sold t-shirts to raise money for her to show their support. This year their “Battle of Route 20” Game was played against Westfield, their rival. It was a highlight of the season when they won, not only because it was their rival but the game was in her honor. This year they raised over $1500 for the Kotorobay family.

The coaches have been very supportive of them and the girls give them a lot of credit.  “We’re really lucky to have such great coaches,” said Emma Bowler. The coaches are very understanding of their schedules and are mindful that academics come first. “The girls are a lot of fun to be around. They’re smart. They perform in the classroom and they perform on the field. They’re really good at supporting each other and that’s very important,” said Coach Canata.

Gabrielle Daley
The players huddle up with Coach Canata after practice.

This year they’re saying goodbye to five seniors. “I’m really going to miss this team. I feel like the people that I’ve grown up with and played with throughout my life have had had such an impact on my life,” said Jackie Koziol, a senior captain who is playing lacrosse at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) next year.

“Last year we had so many new underclassmen join the team. There were nine freshmen. That built in a new spirit and also a legacy. These girls are going to play varsity lacrosse all four years of high school,” said Emma Bowler. The team is ready for new competition and new faces. Pasta parties, long histories, close friendships and playing on the field has made their team bond together for years to come. “There’s no other relationship like it,” continued Emma Bowler.