Girls' Varsity Lacrosse
Under the guidance of second year head coach, Liz McNamara, the varsity girls' lacrosse team is experiencing unprecedented success on the field and as a cohesive group bent on improving each and every day in practices.
As the team approaches its final two games of the season, McNamara acknowledges, "We have definitely brought our program to a more competitive level and are really on the doorstep of being one of the top teams in the league. We have lost four games this season, two by one goal in the final minutes of the game, and one by three goals in a very competitive game against Holderness where we certainly had plenty of chances to score. There has only been one game this year where we didn't show up to play and were not competitive, which is a great step forward for our program."
Junior co-captains Jamie Gaines and Kelcey Crawford added to their coach's optimism. Despite being out with a knee injury this season, Crawford acknowledges the team's growth, "A major part of this year for us has been to make a name for ourselves. Not necessarily just on this campus, but to all of our competitors, and to be an opponent they are nervous to play within the league." Gaines, a three-year starter, adds, "While I obviously want to get the last two W's this season, heading into the final week of our season, our greatest accomplishment has been to bring everyone together to create a family that works hard. Practices have been more productive than ever these last few weeks. All we need to do is keep moving forward on this positive progression."
With an 9-4-1 record, the team's on field success has definitely caused many to take notice of the team, however, the girls' lacrosse program's overarching goal of creating a 'family' on and off the field is perhaps most impressive. McNamara notes, "I am most proud of the program we are building. We have started to establish traditions, and a sense of family for all those who have donned the Proctor green and white for girls' lacrosse, for all those who have traveled countless miles to support our girls. We have built a strong foundation on which to build a great team in coming years." With only four seniors on its roster, the team is positioned to do just this. "We are in a good place heading into next year," notes McNamara, "We will be working hard to keep this momentum going by helping each player understand how they must improve during the off-season to prepare herself for next year." Crawford, whose unique position of watching games from the sideline this year has given her new perspective into the team adds, "Younger girls have had the opportunity this year to step into leadership roles that they otherwise would not be able to do on a more veteran team." Gaines offers a similar perspective, "Even though we will miss our seniors tremendously both as players and as leaders, everyone is returning, which means everything we have improved on this year will stay with us and hopefully next year we will continue to improve as a team."
While the goal for any athletic team is to grow closer as a group through shared experiences, this team has bonded over a common goal that extends well beyond the athletic field. As this article elaborates, the team has used an experience close to them to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Gaines explains the impact of this endeavor on the group, "My goal for the team is to realize the opportunity we have been given to play for something more than Proctor and our lacrosse team. Our fight against ovarian cancer through raising donations has really given us the final push to keep chugging through the times of adversity we have faced. We have been given the chance to extend our hearts out to other teams and other families. I just want everyone to realize the impact we have had, and to be proud of that." McNamara adds, "Our work as a program to raise money for and awareness of ovarian cancer in memory of one of our own has been inspiring and very emotional, but what an experience for these kids to be a part of the process. It's a tradition I would like to see carried on, as it is pretty special to watch teams unite together after games to take picture or to wear the same colors in support of a good cause.
As the team heads into this final week of competition, this shared sense of purpose has helped the team sustain focus. McNamara notes, "The hardest thing about not having playoffs is that much of the motivation has to be intrinsic and about school or team pride. That is our next step as a program to find that motivation to want to be the best, to always play your hardest no matter who the opponent is or what the outcome means. We are working on getting that fire in the belly, that competitive fire that will push this program to the next level."
Best of luck to the varsity girls' lacrosse team and congratulations on all they have achieved this season!