Girls Lacrosse Remains Supreme


Girls Lacrosse team huddle. Image courtesy of Larissa Olson

Mia Helfrich, Opinion Editor

This year, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Girls Lacrosse team has pummeled teams across the county, strengthened by a tight ship run by Coach Mills and watertight camaraderie. The team has earned a streak of 10-1, with their most recent game against Gwyn Park achieving a 14-4 win. They almost always win by ten point margins, contributing to their dominance this season. Although they lost their May 6th game against Northwestern 12-13, Coach Mills, who has been coaching the Girls Lacrosse team since 2015, comments, “We try to be in the county championships this year, we fell just a little short this year, but we’re going to bounce back with state playoffs next week. And we’re going straight to the regional finals.” Consistently collecting wins has reflected in their rankings, as the team is number 11 in the state.

“The best part of the lacrosse team is having a second ‘family’,” says junior Kacey Nyongesa, who has been playing lacrosse since 3rd grade. “It’s nice to have a group of people that you will always be around.”

“It’s adding another support layer,” explains Mills, “of the family and the friends that they have, beyond their team members. Now they’ve got this lacrosse family that they can go to, whether it’s me, or whether it’s, ‘Hey, I’m a freshman, but I’ve got this senior captain I can talk to.’” He reflects how freshmen may not otherwise have upperclassmen friends that they can confide in, and the team creates an atmosphere where underclassmen are able to form secure friendships with upperclassmen.

Junior Julia Beckmann shares similar sentiments, referring to the team as a sisterhood. “We’re all like a bunch of sisters on the team, we all look out for each other, it’s like a community. Even when we’re playing with other teams we still want unity and good sportsmanship. We’re like under the same house, but on the same field.”

Last year, while the Covid-19 restrictions were necessary, the team played half as many games, and lost a lot of potential new players. “This year, we’re kind of getting back to where we’re used to,” says Mills. “The only ones that have experienced a full season are seniors, so it has been a learning and adjusting period for everybody.”

“This year in a way is my first normal season,” remarks Nyongesa. “Last year we were online and did practice and games with masks on. This year we do not have to wear our masks.”

Junior Larissa Olson, who has been playing since freshman year, also notes that she was “glad we were able to play a full season this year.”

Post-quarantine has also allowed for an influx of new players, mostly freshmen and sophomores. Beckmann says that “this year was different, since half the team coming in didn’t know the other half. It’s been a longer season and we have more practices, so everyone’s getting to know each other easier. We also see each other at school, too, so it’s cool to say ‘hi’ to people on the lacrosse team outside of the field.”

Next year they hope to continue to dominate the county and improve as a team. “We just got a lot of new players so I hope we are able to grow the sport throughout the school,” notes Nyongesa.

Coach Mills hopes that “we can pick up more of the things that we used to do next year that we couldn’t do this year, get more people involved from start to finish, and just keep building up the program.” He adds that, “We always set high expectations for ourselves. We only have one loss this year so we’ll shoot for that undefeated season again next year. Learn from that loss, and try to get into the county championships again next year so that we can get those trophies again.”

He pointed out that the team is always looking for new players, and he aspires that the team will someday have enough players to start a JV team. “Look, we have the population here. Let us have a JV team. You know, we have 20 extra girls here that we either cut, and they don’t do a sport, or you let us have a JV team, and we’ll find them games. That is the true next step [for the lacrosse team].”

As the season continues, the amazing team members and coach will ensure promising victories for the Girls Lacrosse team.