CHS girls cruising in lacrosse
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
The Cocalico girls lacrosse team has barely had to break a sweat during the first half of the season.
That’s not a knock on their opponents. It’s more about how successful and talented the program has become.
But the fact of the matter is, through eight games, the closest margin of victory the Lady Eagles have had is a pair of 19-8 victories. And with the majority of the squad back from last year’s 18-5 State qualifying team, including the talented sister tandem of Avery and Kari Longstaff, there is every reason to believe the Lady Eagles have what it takes to get to where they want to go.
"It’s been good," eight-year Coach Mary Beth Cardin said. "There’s been some really good team chemistry this year. We have a lot more girls playing year-round lacrosse now and I think it definitely helps us that we now have an established middle school program so the girls coming in can help us right out of the gate as well."
The Lady Eagles have had to replace five players who were significant contributors a season ago. However, the transition has been a smooth one thanks to that developing middle school program and the team’s willingness to share the ball.
"We have some young people who have stepped right in," Cardin said. "And certainly with the Longstaff sisters we have great leaders on and off the field. The team itself is working very well as a unit. We have been trying very hard to involve everybody in the play so that it’s not 20 unassisted goals. Hopefully it will mean anybody can be a threat on the field as we move forward into the tougher portion of the season."
Also, the experience of last year’s long playoff run which ended in the second round of states has gone a long way as well.
"It definitely will help us as we go on," Cardin said of that experience. "Some of our seniors and juniors have been in post-season play all the way through, and certainly last year we went further than we ever have. Hopefully that will really help us."
"I think they are all working hard," she continued. "I think they’ve grown, realizing it’s a lot easier to move the ball up the field as oppose to having one person run the ball up the field. I think that is clicking. Our midfield transition has helped us. It keeps evolving as the season has gone on."
Sitting at 8-0, the schedule does appear to get a whole lot tougher for Cocalico. The Lady Eagles are about to enter the crossover portion of the slate which means facing teams such as Penn Manor, Warwick, Hempfield and of course last year’s District champion, Manheim Township.
Cardin believes her squad will be up to the challenge.
"I think they are ready to face that next step," she said. "We’ll see how that outcome will be shortly. I think we have the ability to fare well. The potential is there. I think they’ve gotten some confidence now and I think they have learned to play well as a unit. They are working well as a team and working unselfishly.
"There is some great potential there this year," she continued. "Their goal is to go farther in the post season so they are working hard to that end. I guess time will tell."
The Lady Eagles were to face Ephrata Tuesday but results weren’t available as of press time.
However, Cocalico did post two more victories this past week, including a 19-2 victory over Conrad Weiser Monday afternoon in a non-league match.
Eight different Cocalico players scored in that one led by Kari Longstaff’s five goal, seven assist game. Avery Longstaff added four goals and three assists while Courtney Gensemer and Courtney Forry each scored hat tricks. Sam Marino, Katelyn Costanza, Brooke Fritz and Alexandria Stafford all added the final Lady Eagle tallies.
Last Thursday at home, Cocalico also defeated Lampeter-Strasburg by a 22-6 decision. Kari Longstaff scored seven goals and added three assists while Avery Longstaff found the net five times to go along with her three helpers. Gensemer, Forry and Kayli Lescoe also chipped in with two goals apiece as the Lady Eagles outshot L-S, 31-10.
As for Ephrata, in addition to Tuesday’s game, the Lady Mounts faced Conestoga Valley last Thursday where the visiting Buckskins doubled up Ephrata, 14-7.
Rachel Anderson and Katie Albright led Ephrata with two goals each. Kelsy Peterson, Megan Rothweiler and Brooke Overly also added goals for Ephrata, which remain winless at 0-7. More CHS GIRLS, page B-2