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Lacrosse shoots for dominant defense

Posted By Noah Rivkin On May 21, 2010 @ 2:04 am In Sports | Comments Disabled

The Girls’ Lacrosse team has experienced improvements fueled by consistent play from its defensive front. This defense, the team hopes, can help improve both its record and its reputation among South students.

“We have a really, really good defense, and our goalies are amazing, [but] sometimes we don’t get enough shots on net, freshman Kayla Kee said.

Sophomore Michaela O’Flaherty’s presence in net bolsters the team’s defense, as she makes multiple saves each game. While her play has influenced the outcome of games this season, O’Flaherty seems to be an integral piece of the team’s future.

“She’s only a sophomore, so we’re going to have her around for a little while, freshman Charlotte Levine said.

The defense playing in front of O’Flaherty has thrived from a new, more aggressive mentality. According to senior Karina Berenbaum, the style, combined with an emphasis on staying with the opposing offenders, has greatly affected the team’s defensive performance.

A strong defense has helped neutralize a struggling Lion’s offense. While the defense has been proving its worth by preventing goals, it has struggled to relay the ball back to the offenders. A smooth transition between the two phases is critical to the development of a dynamic offense.

Overall, the Lacrosse team has seen some improvements from the last few years. “We actually aren’t doing too badly this year, senior and captain Estie Martin said. “We’ve been working all season. The increase in success puts the program in the right direction, as the team has proven it can overcome the departure of last season’s graduates.

“The girls are definitely doing better than expected this year. They lost some good players to graduation, Athletic Director Scott Perrin said.

Much of the unexpected success comes from the progress and good performance of Kee, Levine, and classmate Emily Caggiano. These freshmen have proved themselves to be qualified replacements for the graduated lacrosse players of last year’s team.

The Lions must also address a lack of urgency on both sides of the ball in the first half. A tendency to falter early in games often puts the team in situations difficult to overcome. By elimnating the lack of readiness in the first half, the team would legitimately increase its chances of winning.

In a loss against Arlington High School, South surrendered six goals in early in the game. The Lions fought back in the second half, scoring four goals to make the margin respectable.

“A [big problem] is that we are a second half team, where it takes until the second half to warm up and really get into our A-game, Martin said.

A full, two-half performance could potentially be the difference between a sub-.500 winning percentage and a playoff contender.

Another way in which the Lacrosse team aims to improve will be by attempting to make a new reputation for itself this season and for years to come.

“We’re working to get rid of the kind of label that the Girls’ Lacrosse team usually carries. We work really, really hard in practice and we really care about the sport; I think we’d love for more people to come out and support [us], Martin said.

If the team can improve getting up the field, and getting shots and pressure on the opposing team’s goalie, they should be in good condition to compete with the best.

Already, these improvements seem to be presenting themselves and coming into place on the team.

The Girl’s Lacrosse team started off the season not really even knowing where they would be or how many games they could win, and have ended up with three wins.

“Yeah, we’re pretty good, Levine said.

The conscious effort to improve the defense and to make the first half of the game stronger should nicely supplement the already strong goalies and defensive skill that the team has brought to the table this season.

Overall, the Girls’ Lacrosse team looks like it could be a major competitive threat in the Dual County League with a suffocating defense and a will to compete.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/05/21/lacrosse-shoots-for-dominant-defense/

URLs in this post:

[1] More to Varsity Sports than a winning record: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/09/30/more-to-varsity-sports-than-a-winning-record/

[2] Lacrosse cradles hope despite struggles: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/04/14/lacrosse-cradles-hope-despite-struggles-2/

[3] One for the left side: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/one-for-the-left-side/

[4] Laxters go for two in a row: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/laxters-go-for-two-in-a-row/

[5] Sports Spotlight: Joey Ives, AJ Koger, Tim Donovan, and Dan Marks: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/05/13/sports-spotlight-joey-ives-aj-koger-tim-donovan-and-dan-marks/

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