An explosive rise to high levels of success has made wins for the varsity girls lacrosse team a spring semester constant. The lady LaxCats have a current season record of 13-2 and are looking expectantly ahead to another state championship. Both the veterans and new players have worked together to create a nearly unstoppable force on the field this year.
The team has sustained only two losses this season: one to Victor Senior High School (17-4), a lacrosse powerhouse from New York, on April 11 and the other to Lassiter (16-9), another strong lacrosse program in classification 5A in Georgia, on April 21. The team fought hard against Lassiter High School, with the offensive effort led by senior Eve Knapp, who scored six goals, and junior Caroline Heys, who racked up two goals and two assists.
The team has also emerged victorious against some stiff competition, soundly beating Pope High School (16-3) on April 13 and Kell High School (17-13) on April 17.
Despite this being her first season as the varsity starting goalie, senior Katie Rush has been impressive in the goal this season. Her efforts have made a tremendous contribution to the team’s success.
“I do like playing goalie. It’s been tough sometimes, but overall it’s been a great time. I know I’ll miss it next year,” said Rush. “We have 11 seniors that are doing awesome, and juniors like Ansley Walker, Caroline Heys and Anna Silverstein, who have been such a great presence on the field. And we also have a lot of new girls this year who have contributed so much to the team. I’m excited to see how far our team can go!”
A highlight of the season was the Dogwood Classic held over the weekend of March 23. In the first round against Ravenwood High School from Brentwood, Tennessee, the LaxCats won 14-6. In the second round on the next day the team beat J. L. Mann Academy out of Greenville, South Carolina, 17-2. Later that day in the finals, the team beat Episcopal High School from Houston, Texas, 14-11. This win marks the eighth time the Westminster varsity girls lacrosse team has won the Dogwood Classic in 12 years. Other teams attending the Dogwood Classic from Georgia were Woodward Academy, Roswell, and Collins Hill. Roswell finished in third place, while Woodward Academy placed fifth. After the tournament, junior Caroline Heys was chosen ESPN High School Lacrosse Player of the Week for the Southeast for scoring 17 goals and having six assists during the tournament. She was also named Co-Most Valuable Player of the tournament. She and senior Katie Rush were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Despite all the hard work, the team has also had a lot of fun together.
“The team has a great bond,” said junior Anna Silverstein, “and gets along incredibly well.”
The LaxCats have qualified for the state playoffs, and they are expected to be the top seed from the area when the regular season ends.
Even with 13 wins and only 2 losses, head coach Jay Watts still indicates that the team has plenty of room for growth to reach its full potential.
“We have hit a rough patch in our season where the team is not really firing on all cylinders. We have yet to put together our best effort for 50 minutes, and that is frustrating,” said Watts. “We hope to be playing our best lacrosse when the postseason starts in two weeks.”
With only three more games in the regular season, the varsity girls lacrosse team is hoping to have no further losses and to take the state championship. If the girls can win, it will be the team’s third consecutive state championship.