Girls lacrosse needing a boost

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Phot Courtesy of Ashley Britton

Senior Ashley Britton splits two defenders and jukes out the third to take a shot on goal against Paul VI.

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After starting the season with an 0-4 record, the Girls Varsity Lacrosse team is beginning to turn the season around. The team had their second conference game on April 7 against the W.T. Woodson Cavaliers.

In preparation, the girls used a number of methods leading up to their match. “I’m very excited for the upcoming game against Woodson, and to prepare for it we’ve been discussing their specific tactics,” senior Rebecca Soulen said.

Senior Katie Pacak sees the game as an opportunity for the team to really unite.

“To prepare for Woodson, we have gone over what to do on each end of the field and in transition, and have made sure to hype each other up for the game since they’re a rival,” Pacak said.

In the case of junior Vicky Luu, the method is quite simple. “We feel ready to beat Woodson,” Luu said. “The only way to really prepare for it is by practicing.”

Sophomore Lennon Wuhrer maintains a positive attitude regarding the rival game.

“Our game against woodson (today, thursday) is a very important game being that they are our rivals,” Wuhrer said.

“Every year we do our best to beat them and this year I think we have our best shot.”

Optimism aside, the Atoms have struggled early on with one thing: injuries.

“A couple people have been injured and are slowly coming back.” senior Hannah Curan said.

“I think In some ways it affects us, however, the injured players still come and participate how they can which makes them still part of the team.”

Junior Sasha Silva views the injuries as a minor setback for the team. “Unfortunately we have experienced a lot of team injuries which have affected key players but we’re managing,” Silva said.

“Once we solidify our defense we can be a much stronger force,” Ashley Britton said. “We are improving every day so I think that we can flip that weakness in our favor.”

An essential element, team chemistry, is something that the team has a lot of this season. “The team has great chemistry,” Senior Tabitha Barnes said, “Often times a team will have one or two ‘bad seeds,’ but we really don’t have any, everyone gets along.”

Likewise, veteran player Soulen takes into account previous seasons when comparing team chemistry but comes to the same result.

“We have a lot of fun together and love to laugh (especially when we hear McKenzie Yi laugh!), but we also know when to focus.”

With great team chemistry comes a sense of familiarity of teammates according to Soulen.

“This season is different from others because it’s a very similar team to last year’s team,” Soulen said. “As a result, we know each other very well and know our strengths and weaknesses.”

In regards to weaknesses, the team believes that an aggressive playing style will go a long way.

“Our goals this year are to have more body contact defense instead of stick defend or just waving your stuck around the attacking player,” Wuhrer said.

Aggression, as well as better transitioning, are the main focuses for Captain Soulen.

“Personally, my goal for the season is to work on making body contact while on defense,” Soulen said. “As a team, our goal right now is to continue to improve in our transitioning of the ball up the field.”

Going forward the team has similar goals for the season, specifically the seniors. “This season, I’d like to see us take the conference championship,” Barnes said. “It’s a big goal but we are definitely capable of achieving it.”

For players that are still adjusting to the sport, like second-year athlete Pacak, continue to have same ambition as those veteran players.

“This season I want us to win districts, we came close last year,” Pacak said. “I also want to go further in regionals since it’s my last year.”

In general, the team takes the season day by day and maintains a positive attitude looking ahead. “Overall though, it’s [my goal] to have the best season we can,” Soulen said.

With their current two-game win streak, the Atoms have a new motivating factor going into future games and tournaments.

Getting a win against Woodson means playing a lower-seeded team in districts, increasing their hopes and chances of winning a district title.

The team’s next event is the annual Atomic Blast on Saturday, April 16, with their first match at 1pm against Battlefield.