By BOB YORK
The Deerfield Academy girls lacrosse team finished up this past season with a 5-10 record. But, as coach Allison DiNardo was quick to point out that her Big Green squad won three of its last four games, “so we’re headed in the right direction,” said the veteran mentor.
Want some more news that shows this program is headed in a northerly direction? Well, DiNardo is quite pleased to be able to inform her team’s fandom “we scored 13 goals in our first three games this season … and scored 53 goals in our last three games.”
And there’s more encouraging news for this program. The vast majority of players – 18 out of 22 to be exact – who picked up their share of black and blues from a season in which they dropped two games to every one they won, will be back. And chances are, they will be gunning for some payback.
Of the roster that DiNardo put together this spring, just four slots were filled by seniors, nine by juniors, seven by sophomores and two by freshmen. “So, I think we should have plenty of people to build around next year,” said the Big Green mentor.
The departing quartet of seniors included co-captains Julie Wardwell and Lili Gahagan, “who supplied us with tremendous leadership all season all long. The took all these younger kids under their wing and managed to keep everyone upbeat throughout what proved to be a trying season. The other two seniors were Kate Anderson and Tierney Griff. Anderson was the recipient of this year’s Benjamin C. Haviland Trophy, while Wardwell won the team’s Coaches’ Award.
And if she even approaches the kind of season she had this year during her senior campaign, the whole school may want to break into a chorus of “Sweet Caroline” at the school’s sports assembly and urge Caroline Ashford (14) to stand up and take a bow. The sophomore attack rang up a career of stats in a single season this spring when she led the Big Green in scoring with 55 points on 49 goals and six assists, and later earned a berth on the All-League team. She was joined on the All-Star balloting by teammate Mettler Growney (13), who turned in an outstanding season from her midfielder slot.
This dynamic duo will help lead the way next spring, but they should certainly have more than each other to depend on. The rest of the field will be dotted with familiar faces, starting with Ryan Logie (13) in goal. Julia Perry (13) will head up next year’s defensive lineup. Further up the field, midfielder Louisa Hanson (13) and attack Caroline Wood (13) are scheduled to return to their respective posts.
“I’m already excited about next season, and I know all the kids we have returning, are excited about it, too.” said DiNardo. “They kept their heads up and that wasn’t always easy this season. I know they learned a lot from their experience and are looking forward to continue moving this program in the right direction come next year. “