With an early-season record of 1-8, the girls varsity lacrosse team is optimistic about a season of growth, perseverance, and hard work.
Going into the season, Head Coach Judy Bailey knew that her team would be challenged. “We only have one team this year with 25 players,” she explained. “Of those, five have never played lacrosse before, and five have limited experience. Nineteen of our players are in Forms 2 through 4. We are young!”
Given the wide range of experience within the team, it was important to Coach Bailey that the girls come together to craft a unified goal for their season. This came in the form of a mission statement that emphasizes hard work, accountability, teamwork, and fun. Every time the team steps onto the field, they look to the mission statement as a reminder of their ambitions.
The team is led by three upperclassmen—senior attacker Co-captain Alle Kotowitz, senior goalie Co-captain Chayse Shamleffer, and junior midfielder Co-captain Kami Tarantino—who have guided the team through their first couple of games.
Facing a talented team from Greenwich Country Day School in their first official game, the Wyverns ultimately lost 17-3. They found more success, however, in their next two games against Pomfret School and Suffield Academy; despite falling short in both matchups, the Wyverns put up a collective 12 goals.
As Coach Bailey noted, these losses weren’t a true reflection of the team’s effort. “Our first several games have been against strong teams,” she explained. “We look at these games as opportunities to be pushed and to help us determine what we need to work on moving forward. We do not focus on the score but instead on making sure that we do our best to compete from the opening whistle to the final horn.”
In their first few games, there have been a number of integral players that Coach Bailey recognized. “On the attack, Kotowitz, Tarantino, [sophomores] Addisen Nicholsen, and Ella Wilson have been our consistent scorers,” she said. “The defense has been anchored by [sophomores] Macey Kotowitz, Liv Schaller, [juniors] Celia Yaworsky, and Jill Alexander.”
The girls varsity lacrosse team is working on a few key aspects of the sport as they look to improve their record. “We are definitely working on the logistics, basic skills, and fitness since a large portion of our team is new to this sport,” Kotowitz said. “A handful of our girls have never played the sport before, which means we have been prioritizing rules, stick skills, and basic plays like passing it around the goal on offense and playing a zone and man defense.”
The team is also prioritizing teamwork off the field. “I think that we have a lot of team camaraderie, which is key to having a successful season because the more we connect off the field, the more we connect on it,” Kotowitz said.
As they strive for growth both on and off the field, the future of the girls lacrosse team is surely headed in a positive direction, which Coach Bailey recognizes. “We are only in the earliest stages of our season with the majority still to come,” she reminded. “I have been pleased with the progress we have seen to date and am optimistic that we will continue to improve and compete in the coming weeks.”
With upcoming games against Hamden Hall and Ethel Walker, the girls varsity lacrosse team looks forward to continuing to build upon their skills and hard work.