Worcester Girls Open New Season with New Coach at the Helm

BERLIN- With a new coach at the helm, Worcester Prep’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team is spending much of its time getting to know each other as it prepares for the 2008 campaign.

New Head Coach Yetive Delaney takes over this year at Worcester, replacing long-time coach Carol Hartnett as the leader of the Mallards women’s varsity lacrosse program. Delaney is a fairly recent transplant to the area after teaching and coaching at the Key School in Annapolis for several years. She played at Salisbury University and later played club lacrosse in Baltimore. Most recently, she coached in the Beach Lacrosse program before taking over the head coaching job at Worcester Prep.

Delaney said this week her new team is bottom heavy with underclassmen with just seven seniors, a handful of juniors and huge class of sophomores. Nonetheless, she has liked what she has seen thus far during early practices.

“I really like what we’ve seen from all of the players out there,” she said. “I like their athleticism and their knowledge of the game. Many of them having been playing together on Beach Lacrosse teams and here at Worcester on the middle school and junior varsity teams, so they’re pretty advanced in terms of being fairly young.”

With a new head coach and a couple of assistant coaches from Salisbury University, the first few weeks of practice have been as much of a meet-and-greet as a lacrosse workout. Delaney and her coaches are spending a lot of time getting to know the players and their strengths and weaknesses on the field.

“We’re just getting to know each other thus far,” she said. “The coaches and I are getting to know the players, and the players are getting to know us and their teammates.”

However, this season should be more about reloading and continuing a strong tradition in girls’ lacrosse at the Berlin prep school than rebuilding. Despite the short numbers of seniors and juniors, the Mallards should remain as competitive as always and will likely challenge for the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference (ESIAC) title.

Delaney has put together an impressive schedule that includes the usual suspects in the ESIAC such as Salisbury School, Delmarva Christian and Gunston. The Mallards will also play old familiar rivals Saints Peter and Paul and Cape Henlopen as well as a handful of tough public school teams including cross-town rival Stephen Decatur, Parkside, Bennett and Kent County.

Worcester will also play always tough St. Andrews of Delaware as well as the Bullis School of Potomac and Wilde Lake of Columbia. The Mallards open the regular season on March 25 against Kent County.

“We’re playing a different schedule from the last couple of years,” said Delaney. “There are some very tough teams on the schedule, but it will be a great learning experience for our young players.”