Emily Holland, Sammy Lecaroz, and Kaitlyn Marchant were all extremely important cogs in the machine that was the 2017 Londonderry High girls’ varsity lacrosse team last spring.
That contingent posted an excellent 14-5 record for first-year coach Scott Walden and made it as far as the Division I tournament quarterfinals before being felled by those arch-rivals from Pinkerton Academy.
Among the biggest personnel losses to graduation from that talented crew were midfielder Holland, defender Lecaroz, and rock-solid goalie Marchant. And replacing them is among the biggest challenges the 2018 Lady Lancers are facing as they stride into the new campaign in hopes of once again being a real player in the league title hunt.
The team does return six skilled and battle-tested starters and a total of 14 players from that fine 2017 squad. So second-year coach Walden knows that his crew’s foundation is all kinds of solid. And there are newcomers who have caught his eye as well.
“We have some talented freshmen who we need to step up quickly and adapt to the speed of varsity-level lacrosse,” said Walden. “The team needs someone at midfield, defense, and goalie to step up and fill roles of departed stars Emily Holland, Sammy Lecaroz, and Kaitlyn Marchant.”
The aforementioned varsity starters who are back in the fold are senior attacks Meghan Jakes, Catie Derhak, and Shannon Fraser, senior defender Isabella Bourque, and juniors Sammy LeClair (defense) and Sarah Duarte (midfield).
The other varsity returnees include 12th graders Allie Marsh (attack), Victoria Kelly (middie), Katelyn Nartiff (middie), Courtney Baharian (attack), and Jackie Baumann (defense), 11th graders Morgan Brutus (goalie) and Hannah McCutcheon (middie), and sophomore Grace Chicko (middie).
In expressing his expectations for the Division I power picture, coach Walden stated, “I feel Bishop Guertin will be the team to beat, with Bedford not far behind. Rounding out the top five are Souhegan, Pinkerton, and us.”
With those facts laid out there, coach Walden and his charges began their 2018 campaign with some challenges. They got the season officially started this Tuesday, April 10 – after Londonderry Times press time – with a home match against Guertin. Then on Friday the 13th the locals will be way out in Keene to take on the Lady Blackbirds, followed by a road match in Amherst the next morning against the defending state champions from Souhegan High.