Lady Wreckers hope to win Class L lax title
The Staples girls lacrosse team is on the cusp of doing something special.
Staples was 15-7 overall, 11-5 in the regular season, and was the Division II runnerup last year and with many top players returning, it expects to contend for the Class L title with Class L favorite Newtown and Greenwich.
"We've been excited for this season since last season ended," Lady Wreckers Coach Cathy Schager said. "Obviously we were unhappy with the outcome but this team just loves playing together, which is so rewarding. Also, we're a pretty young squad last year, so we've got some killer experience under our belts and an off-season characterized by very hard work."
Staples will miss defenders Kat Krieger and Lexa Koenig and lefty attacker Blair Barone from last year. Krieger was an All-Stater and Block S MVP last year and Koenig was the Coach's award recipient. Barone, who missed at least half of the season with an injury, ignited the offense during the team's playoff run.
Although the Lady Wreckers miss Krieger, Koenig and Barone, they expect to be stronger because of many top-returning seniors and a phenomenal junior class which is vastly talented.
"As with each year that I've coached at Staples, our goal is always to improve," Schager said. "That wasn't too hard to do when we were 2-12, but, clearly, the farther we get, the harder that becomes. For sure we'd love to make it back to the FCIACs and the State Finals, and, ideally, to do better than last year."
Senior quad-captain Nikki Seo was an All-Stater last year and is expected to lead the team along with junior Maeve Flaherty. Seo possesses a lethal shot and is a deft in setting up her teammates. The sky's the limit for the speedy Flaherty, who can shoot, pass and control draws.
"I definitely think the team hasn't missed a beat," Seo said. "We're picking up where we left off and we're optimistic."
Senior quad-captain Penny Tsilfides made some big saves last year and returns as the starting goalie. Leading the defense are senior quad-captain Kelley Hussey, classmate Ella Hirten and junior Kenzie Roof.
Newtown is favored to win it because it has a strong senior class led by Kaitlin Brophy, who will be playing for Columbia University. However, preseason favorites don't always win and the Lady Wreckers, as well as Greenwich, will contend for the top spot.
"We'll take it one game at a time and try not to get ahead of ourselves," Seo said. "We're working on communication and hope to pick it up where we left off"