Girls varsity lacrosse team reaches NCS finals for first time
The San Marin girls lacrosse team placed third in MCALs and second in NCS this season, higher than any lacrosse team has gone at San Marin. This season, the team added several new players to their lineup. The new players said that they felt welcomed on the team right away and that there was instant chemistry between old and new players.
“We all treat each other like family,” senior Caitlin Dwyer said, adding that the team dynamic helped contribute to their success. “Everyone is really close this year. No one’s afraid to give criticism because we know no one will take it the wrong way,” Dwyer said. “This year is definitely a ‘let’s get it’ environment, whereas last year the motivation was lacking.”
In 2016, San Marin girls lacrosse ranked 89th in the state and 1,235th in the nation. This year, they ranked 24th in the state and 206th in the nation. A lot has changed since 2015, the first season of high school lacrosse for the current seniors on the team. Sophia Leland, the defensive captain, said that San Marin lacrosse has come a long way since she was a freshman.
“When we first started, we didn’t even have a JV team,” Leland said. “No one was motivated or even cared about the sport, but over the years, we got so many people, we had to start cutting from JV. It’s awesome to see so many girls wanting to play.”
According to Head Coach Nelson Richardson, the number of girls involved in lacrosse at San Marin has grown from 20 to 60 athletes. Increased interest in the sport and participation impacted the success of the program. The varsity team had a record of 14 wins and four losses and qualified for playoffs. With eleven varsity players graduating this year, Shealyn Mathews, the JV team head coach, hopes that San Marin will continue to have a “dominant program” that MCAL recognizes as a good team who loves lacrosse and has good sportsmanship.”
On May 16, the Mustangs took on highly-ranked Piedmont High School in the NCS Division II championship game.
“Our goal was to win NCS; we had been working a lot on our skills as individuals and we brought those skills together so that we could try to be the best team,” senior and team captain Alea Escandon said. The two teams tied in the second half, but Piedmont went on to win 8-7.
“Sports come in waves, you are not always going to have the best team and you’re not always going to have the worst; you just have to wait for those years that you get the right opportunity,” Richardson said about the loss. “The girls played to the best of their ability. That’s all I can ask for.”