Lacrosse hopes balance in ages brings success


Jonah Charlton

Nikki Kimmel guards Mary McClintock at a practice.

Eli Cohen, Sports Writer

With 14 returning players, including 11 seniors, this year’s girls lacrosse team still added key new members to the squad, preparing to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with this spring.

“This is the most talented group of girls we’ve had,” coach Sarah McKenna said. McKenna is heading into her ninth season as head coach for girls lacrosse and her tenth as a member of the coaching staff.

The Kits will have to find a way to create chemistry with the large group of newcomers, in order to maximize their potential on the field.

“About half of our roster is new players,”  McKenna said. Among these players are six freshmen; an anomaly at the varsity level. Bradley Bellios, Josie Lambert, Sofia Lydon, Mary McClintock, Sydney O’Malley and Madeline Rodriguez will represent the class of 2021 on the field.   

This is a particularly special year for seniors Zoe Lydon and Marnie O’Malley who will get compete alongside their siblings, Sofia and Sydney, for the first time in their four years.

“I enjoy having Syd on the team because she adds good chemistry and stick skills,” senior midfielder and captain O’Malley said. “On the field I definitely push her harder because I know her potential and her limits.”

Beyond that sibling bond, many of the team’s seniors are lifelong friends and an incredibly close-knit group outside of lacrosse. O’Malley thinks this will be an advantage for the Kits.

“I think we need to focus on connecting on the field, all playing as one, and bringing our chemistry off the field onto the field,”  O’Malley said.

O’Malley is heading into her fourth and final season on the varsity squad, and has set some big goals she hopes to achieve before she transitions to playing Division 1 lacrosse at Marquette University.

Among O’Malley’s goals is to finally make it past the Sweet Sixteen and onto the Elite Eight or Final Four in the state. In her three years, the Kits haven’t made it past the Sweet Sixteen, but, despite that, they have a lot of confidence in this team’s ability.

There seems to be a consensus that playing together and building team chemistry is the factor that has the biggest impact on whether or not they finally make it past the Sweet Sixteen. However, both O’Malley and McKenna are quite confident in the team’s ability to play together.

“Our first few practices were actually a shock,”  senior defender and captain Maddy Carey said. “We were playing in the field house and we scrimmaged for most of the time, Marnie and I thought it was going to be a little shaky but we all just clicked, with so much new talent we were able to play at a pace we weren’t able to last year.”

However, it won’t be a cakewalk to finally make it past the Sweet Sixteen. Last year, the CSL had six teams in the state’s Top 20, so the Kits will be up against a daunting conference schedule this season.

The team will return from spring break rested and ready to take on the Fremd Vikings at Lazier Field on Saturday, April 7.