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Players fill big roles on lacrosse team during rebuilding season

Passing+the+torch--+Freshmen+Sarah+Catillo+receives+the+ball+from+senior+Ali+Sheehy.+Sheehy+has+been+a+varsity+starter+all+four+years+of+high+school%2C+and+Catillo+is+a+first-year+varsity+player.
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Players fill big roles on lacrosse team during rebuilding season

Passing the torch-- Freshmen Sarah Catillo receives the ball from senior Ali Sheehy. Sheehy has been a varsity starter all four years of high school, and Catillo is a first-year varsity player.

Passing the torch-- Freshmen Sarah Catillo receives the ball from senior Ali Sheehy. Sheehy has been a varsity starter all four years of high school, and Catillo is a first-year varsity player.

Passing the torch-- Freshmen Sarah Catillo receives the ball from senior Ali Sheehy. Sheehy has been a varsity starter all four years of high school, and Catillo is a first-year varsity player.

Passing the torch-- Freshmen Sarah Catillo receives the ball from senior Ali Sheehy. Sheehy has been a varsity starter all four years of high school, and Catillo is a first-year varsity player.

Annika Sager, Features Editor

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Following the graduation of seven out of the 11 starters, the girls lacrosse team started the season with a focus on rebuilding and filling the open spots. The team is coached by Jeffrey Manaressi and assisted by Colleen Occhino with seniors Kate Gregory, Ali Sheehy, Allie Kawiecki, and Melanie Auclair as captains.

Following tryouts, 12 new players joined the varsity team, varying between seniors to freshmen. Since then, practices have been focused on working to get new players to adapt to the level of play necessary for a varsity team.

The team faced a tough schedule as they started their season playing Cheshire, and then later played Conard, Pomperaug, and Glastonbury, all top teams in the state. Despite the losses, they had some notable wins against Avon in their charity game and

Windsor at a home game. One memorable moment was winning in a sudden-death overtime by one point against Hall to celebrate Senior Night. Following ending the alloted time with a tied score, they moved into overtime where the first team to score would be the winner. After winning the ball, a goal was scored, giving them the win.

“With a very young team, the senior leaders have looked to build confidence in the group as much as possible. We focus on and celebrate even the smallest successes and try to look at mistakes and failures in a constructive light in hopes of creating a strong team morale and foundation for upcoming years,” Gregory said.

Gregory has been a key player on the team for three years and hopes to end the season showing overall team improvement. She spent the season guiding the first year players. The new players had to quickly adjust to the speed of the varsity level as various first year players filled starting positions.

“It definitely came as a surprise to me to fill a starting spot on varsity as a freshman, but I have put in a lot of effort as the other freshman on varsity have. My biggest goal this year is to be more confident on the field because next year I will have to fill a bigger role on the team due to the fact that there are no juniors in the program,” freshman Kylee Ficks said.

Manaresi encouraged veteran players to take the responsibility of helping new players make the adjustment to this new level of play. He wanted guidance to not only come from the coaching level, but players too.

“I rely on my seniors to help me transition the inexperienced players. I look for them to be a major source of direction and guidance because they are the ones on the field seeing what they see. I believe this is the way teams sustain success; veteran players show the younger players how to approach situations on and off the field,” Manaresi said.

His goal for the end of the season was to qualify for the state tournament and be competitive with every team in their league, the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) North. By the end of season, they did not have enough wins to qualify for the tournament, needing one more win to qualify. Despite winning less games than the previous season, the team is proud of their growth.

“Over the course of this season, every single person, especially the younger people have worked really hard and have improved a lot. I think at the beginning it was hard with people filling big roles right away but now as we approach the end of our season it’s amazing to see how people have become more comfortable and start to take more risks so quickly,” Sheehy said.

 

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Players fill big roles on lacrosse team during rebuilding season