Girls lacrosse starts season strong


photo by Mia Campese

Freshman Laurel Scott defending against Pope High School. The team won the game 12-6.

A highly rated team from Georgia and one of the top programs in Florida – girls lacrosse had an opening weekend to remember. 

On Feb. 21, the girls lacrosse team beat Pope (GA) High School 12-6 at home in their first game of the season. It was their first time playing them and many players did not know what to expect. 

“I expected to have some competition and I didn’t know the outcome,” captain Laila Viator said. “I knew if we did what we had to do and play a clean game, we’d be happy with the results.”

The team ran their standard offense in response to Pope’s man-on-man defense, which proved victorious.

“We prepared the best we could, but staying fundamentally strong helped us a lot,” senior Erin O’Connor said.

 Following the game against Pope, the team won 13-5 the next day against IMG Academy, which has a reputation for recruiting elite athletes from across the country. Seven points were scored in the first half and six in the second.

Further motivation came from the day before and had players in a determined mindset.

“On Saturday, I feel like the momentum from the night before was still there,” freshman Ella Digiore said. “We played well as a team and didn’t let the other team’s actions affect the way we played.”

They redeemed themselves from last year when IMG Academy defeated them 14-1. 

“ I was more nervous about that game … I thought they were going to start strong, but I was very pleased with the way we came together and put them to sleep early on,” Viator said. 

Although they won both games, the wins were not easy and took a lot of effort.

“The key to both games was the way we dictated the pace of play and forced opponents to play very uncomfortably,” coach Mitch Whittington said.

The team currently has a 4-0 record.The following week, the team won on Feb. 25 in a 19-0 game against Seminole High School and on Feb. 27 19-3 against Lake Mary. 

The team plans on continuing their hard work just as they did last year when they were the only public school to reach the final four.

“We expect to continue to grow and get better, while taking it one game at a time,” Whittington said. “This team has a chance to be very special.”