BERLIN- With a strong class of veteran, talented seniors on the field, the future looks bright for the Worcester Prep girls’ varsity lacrosse team as they prepare for the 2009 season.
The Mallards, led by second-year Coach Yetive Delaney, will feature nine seniors this year, giving Worcester veteran leadership at several key positions all over the field. After taking over the program last year, Delaney said this week her team has really come together as they prepare for the 2009 season.
“We took a while to get to know each other last year, but this year, we’re all on the same page,” she said. “This veteran group of seniors came out this year in great shape and they are very focused as we get ready to start the season. With fall ball, all of the winter leagues and camps they participate in, they really showed up this year in mid-season form.”
Delaney said she has a deep talent pool of underclassmen and juniors, but her team’s real strength this year will be her veteran seniors.
“It really is a versatile group of girls,” she said. “Most of them can play anywhere on the field. They have great speed, great stick work and they can play offense and defense. I’m really getting a lot of leadership out of this group of seniors.”
Senior Alex Lewis will start in goal for the Mallards, replacing long-time stalwart Melanie Leiner, who graduated last year. Delaney said she was uncertain about the keeper position going into the season, but Lewis, who played goalie in 7th and 8th grade and in the Beach Lacrosse program, stepped up to fill the position.
Anchoring the defense for Worcester this year is another senior, Sarah Ann Showell. Most of the Mallards’ veteran depth is concentrated in the midfield position, led by Meegan Jayne Smith, who will play next year at Colgate University. Also expected to make big contributions at the midfield position this year are senior twins Anna and Sophie Townsend, along with seniors Elizabeth Hudson and Alexandra Smith.
Of course, being able to finish forays into the offensive end of the field and putting the ball in the net is the key to success for any lacrosse team and Worcester has two of the best at it up front in seniors Caitlin Miller and Jackie Wangel, who will lead the attack. Miller is bound for Queens University in North Carolina next year after signing a letter of intent with the school this winter.
Like Worcester’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team, the Mallards will play in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference (ESIAC) this year against familiar foes such as old rival Salisbury School, Gunston and Delmarva Christian. Also like their male counterparts, the Mallards’ varsity girls team will play a schedule chock full of some of the best women’s high school lacrosse programs in the area.
They open on the road next week against Baltimore powerhouse Towson High, followed up with a game against Cheltenham College and another against St. Andrew’s. After that, the Mallards will play neighborhood rival Stephen Decatur as home on April 3, followed by another tough game against Bullis School in Potomac and old rival Cape Henlopen.
The Mallards are currently on spring break with many of the upperclassmen traveling abroad, but they will hit the ground running when they return for the start of the season next week.