With a potent offense and a tenacious defense, the DA girls varsity lacrosse team has established itself this season as the “Greatest Show of Turf.” That moniker was put to the test yesterday at Kimball Union Academy, however, as a scheduling conflict had us playing on a muddy grass field. But in the end this change of venue proved to be inconsequential, as the Big Green rolled to a 14-5 victory and a 9-2 record on the season.
One of the goals of the team is to stay hungry and focused through the final stretch of the season, particularly after a grueling (and successful!) week against some of our toughest opponents. The girls displayed this grit with style yesterday, coming out of the gates fast and never looking back. Christina Halloran ‘19 set the tone by winning the opening draw with a beautiful, reaching one-handed possession. And with fellow seniors Bailey Cheetham, Mimi Pastor and Katherine Bowman on the circle throughout the game, the Big Green was dominant on draw controls and ground balls. With the lopsided possession time, Deerfield had plenty of opportunities to orchestrate its “fun ‘n’ gun” offense — the players moved the ball well, successfully ran through many set plays, and were able to capitalize on several fast breaks. It was indeed fun to watch all the hard work in practice continue to pay off. The scoring was plentiful and distributed amongst many (9 players in all), and before we knew it we had a ten goal lead.
On the other side of the field, the defense had their own fun by suffocating the KUA attack with aggressive double-teams, strong and alert positioning, terrific goaltending, and flawless execution of clears. Seniors Margaret Williams, Mae Emerson and Meredith Heaney anchored the unit, with Lilly Berry ‘21 playing well in her first start. And goalie Maggie Tydings ‘20 continued her terrific play between the pipes whenever KUA managed to get a shot on cage. This effort was rewarded with a first-half shutout, and a score of 10-0 going into the half.
The fun continued in the second half, with all of our players getting significant playing time and opportunities to shine. Grace Honos ‘22 netted a goal and came up with some gritty ground balls, Haley Sundstrom ‘21 caught two passes in traffic and converted for scores, and Sophia Knoblock ‘22 powered two shots by the KUA goalie as well. Defensively, Kaitlyn Kelly ’22 cleared the ball with confidence and goalie Maddy Zavalick ’22 came up with some great saves to make sure our lead was never in doubt. Other highlights of the second half included appearances on offense by Mae Emerson (who knows our playbook as well as any of our starters) as well as Margaret Williams, who blew two side-arm rippers by the KUA goalie on free positions.
Captains Bailey Cheetham and Margaret Williams awarded the Play Tough Player of the Game to Kaitlyn Kelly ’22 for her effort on the field yesterday and her hard work in practice all season long. Additional shout-outs went to Ainsley Hatch ’22 for her hustle, Sarah Stonestreet ’21 for her tough play, Talbot von Stade ’21 for her tenacity all over the field, Mary Edmonds ’19 for her three goals, Julia Placek ‘20 for an awesome assist from her knees in the dirt, and our injured players Hanna Deringer ‘20, Maddie Boger ‘21 and Taylor Coan ‘21 for all of their support.
Not even the final horn could put an end to the fun! Despite being set back an hour and a half by a mechanical problem with our team bus, the girls made the most of the situation by playing games, singing, dancing, and even challenging some KUA students to a game of spike ball, of course. All in all it was a wonderful and memorable day for the players and coaches. And last but not least, many thanks to the Hallorans and Knoblocks for the terrific food, drinks and snacks, and to super-fans Toby and Dana Emerson for their perfect record of attendance!