Girls lacrosse looks forward optimistically to season

Posted: April 5, 2011

by Jessamine Von Arx

Talon staff writer

“I’m excited to see how everyone plays on a high school team because it’s my first year,” said freshman Sam Karg. Karg is only one of the new high school players. Lacrosse is growing all over Minnesota and Minnehaha Academy.

This year, Minnehaha Academy girls’ lacrosse team is excited to start the season because of all the new players. The team has grown a lot in the last couple years and the coaches and captains are happy about the number of girls getting involved this year.

“I am excited for a team with so many new freshmen!” said senior captain Mimi Levin. “This means so much potential for a great next four years.”

This season, eleven freshmen are trying out for girl’s lacrosse with only one of the having been on the team the previous year as an eighth grader.

Levin wasn’t the only one excited for all the new players.

“I cannot emphasize enough how much we always need [new players],” said senior captain  Rachel West. “Whether they’ve ever picked up a stick in their life or they’ve tried it out a few times with friends, it’s always great to have new people in the program. And lacrosse is one of those sports where anyone can find the position that fits them even if they are a sprinter, long distance, or they just like to sit back and play some solid defense. Plus the team is very inclusive because we have so many different people from different friend groups that all come together and lax it up.”

But why should anyone join lacrosse?

“We play lacrosse to learn leadership and character,” said girls’ lacrosse coach Todd Wadsworth.  “And it’s good exercise.  And it’s wicked cool!”

West has her own reasons for girls joining lacrosse.

“I’d say just try lacrosse out no matter what because it will surprise you how much fun you could have,” she said.

However, Karg had a different reason.

“I like lacrosse because it’s not easy and you have to work at it to be good,” she said. “You have to really love it.”

Levin said there is something for everyone.

“Lacrosse is a true team sport where everyone relies on each other,” she said. “There are many opportunities to excel and use your strengths out on the field. Whether you are a runner, aggressive, or you like to score, there is a spot for you out on the lacrosse field!”

“I love playing lacrosse because I love how the game is about skill and speed rather than brute strength and physicality like the boys game,” West added. “I also love the coach, Todd Wadsworth. He is the best coach that I’ve ever had because he is serious about the sport but not overwhelming about it, and he’s made me into the person I am today.”

Wadsworth, who has coached the girls’ lacrosse team since 2006, said he liked coaching lacrosse because of all the players and how much the team has improved in the last couple of years.

“There is only one division in girls lacrosse in Minnesota,” he said. “We play against Edina, Stillwater, Lakeville-combined and other large schools.  The previous five years we finished 37th, 21st, 16th, 11th, and 6th. No one played the top teams tougher than we did.”

The team has improved the last couple years but they did lose a lot of girls this past year.  They lost Sarah Scholl as a midfielder and Brit Berner as the goalie. The team also lost 2/3 of the low defense, low attacks, a middie and two managers.

“We need to fill the low defense positions, find a full-time varsity goalie, and get strong play from our attack,” Wadsworth said. “As always, our midfield defenders will have to step up, and we will have to get some pleasant surprises by the up and coming players.”

With strengthening of the team these last seasons, there are many things to look forward to this year.

“I am looking forward to this season because it’s my last hurrah,” West said. “I don’t need to worry about the politics behind the team and I can simply play the game as hard as I want because I won’t be here in a few months.”

Levin has a bit of a different perspective on this season,

“As a captain, I am going to make sure that the girls really enjoy their time this season and keep up the positive spirit and attitude of the team,” said Levin. “We work hard and we also know how to let loose and have some fun, too! We have worked really hard on building the program with new players and continuing to develop the strengths of current players. We really want to leave a legacy this year and a strong foundation for the future of Minnehaha Lacrosse.”

With the captains West, Levin, and senior Mari Marcotte, the team is going to have strong leaders as well as coach Wadsworth. The captains are more focused on the new players and on building up the program. With the mix of experience and beginners, the team is getting ready for the years to come.

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