Girls lacrosse hopes for historic season


photo by Aliyah Rackley

Defender Grace Revak transitions down the field after a forced turnover in the game against Celebration. The team went on to win 15-9.

Girls varsity lacrosse started in 2006, but the team has never made it past the district playoffs. Over the past two seasons, the team has lost in the district championship to Oviedo. Now with new coaches and new leaders, the team is hoping the postseason drought can end.

Last season, the team finished 10-7, and lost 10 seniors who graduated. Former head coach Mike Willover resigned to spend more time with his family.

“Although [Willover] loved the sport of lacrosse, it was just taking up too much of his time,” midfielder Sadler Lindsey said. “He was a good coach, but we didn’t have the bond with him that we have with our coaches now.”

New head coach Mitch Whittington, the team’s defensive coach in 2014 and 2015, was promoted to the head coach position and will remain the defensive coach as well. The team also added Scott Gallant as their offensive coach, who has many years of experience with both boys and girls lacrosse.

“We have a very realistic opportunity to get past districts this season,” Whittington said. “It feels great to be named the head coach and having [Galant] next to me has been a fantastic addition.”

Over the five games this season, the team is 3-2, and has beaten Celebration (15-9) Orangewood (17-0) and Timber Creek (9-4) but lost to Lake Brantley (11-4) and previous state champion Vero Beach (14-3). Lindsey has led the team in goals this season, scoring four in both the games against Celebration and Timber Creek.

With 11 new players, including four freshmen, the team is inexperienced, but that has not seemed to stop them so far.

“Even though we have a lot of young players this season, we have to maintain a positive mindset,” midfielder Hannah Kling said.

Despite the two losses, returning players, such as defender Grace Revak, stress the importance of the fundamentals.

“If we want to have a winning season like last year, we need to focus with an all new attack play as one unit,” Revak said.

Although the team has not played any district opponents yet, the main focus is to win the district. However, there will be one more team to play this season, as Winter Park moved into their district. Last season, Winter Park lost in the district 10 championship to Lake Highland, (18-3).

“They create a good opportunity for us to compete at the higher level,” Kling said. “I think it would add a little bit more benefit if we could win with a one-team larger district.”

The most notable games will be Oviedo on Feb. 25 and Winter Springs on March 3. The team will play Lake Nona on March 29 for senior night.

“We have made significant progress so far this season,” Whittington said. “As the success continues, I would love to see the enthusiasm grow with the student body and we will continue to be a winning program.”