CV girls lacrosse preparing for season

  • pboro, conval girls lacrosse v hopkinton
  • pboro, conval girls lacrosse v hopkinton
  • pboro, conval girls lacrosse v hopkinton

After losing nine of the 12 starters from last year’s playoff team, the ConVal girls lacrosse team enters the 2013 season on the younger side.

But just because the Cougars have only four seniors on the roster that does not mean the expectations for another playoff appearance have diminished.

It seems like every year ConVal is rebuilding after losing a large group of seniors only to make a run at the postseason. That is the plan once again.

The Cougars earned the fourth seed in Division III last spring after an 11-4 regular season before losing at home in the quarterfinals. This year, even with the roster turnover, coach Cher McClelland believes this group can make it back to that position, maybe even further.

“I think playoffs are a definite possibility,” said McClelland. “The girls are set on the Final Four.”

Like most teams this spring, ConVal has not been able to practice outside very much. So far, the only fresh air the team has had is a one hour time slot at Franklin Pierce University, The rest of the practices have been held in the gym.

“It’s really hard to tell at this point where we are at,” said McClelland. “We still really have to work on what our offense and defense are doing.”

Last year’s group of seniors not only made up most of the starting lineup, but accounted for a lot of the offensive production. So McClelland is looking for the returning players and a few from last year’s junior varsity team to help fill the voids.

Senior attack Haley Webber is the one McClelland considers the most offensive minded player and sees very little transition into becoming one of the team’s top goal scorers. But Webber won’t be alone. Junior midfielder Zoe Paige and classmate Megan Close, who will play both midfield and attack, both had a number of goals in 2012 and McClelland sees those totals increasing quite a bit this season.

“I don’t think scoring will be a problem,” said McClelland.

Junior Maddie Zimmerman will help solidify the midfield and got a lot of valuable experience during the one playoff game last year.

The defense will be mostly made up of seniors Chloe Brett and Claire Cochran and junior Olivia Thomas. Thomas played most of last year and started the playoff game, but Brett and Cochran are new to the varsity team — as are many of others.

“I have a bunch of sophomores who made varsity that still need to learn a lot,” said McClelland. “But I feel we have a ton of potential and a ton of skill. It’s just a matter of learning stuff and gaining confidence.”

And after having the comfort of Sarah Snell, who is playing Division II lacrosse at Mount Olive College, in net for the last four years, McClelland will have a new goalie for 2013. But it won’t be a brand new start, as junior Lily Grisafi takes over.

Grisafi played in a few games last year and got plenty of experience at the junior varsity level. She also played goalie for the ConVal girls ice hockey team.

It will take a few games — and more importantly a few days outside — for this group to figure it out. With that kind of roster change, the Cougars will be a much different team come May than they will be in the season opener.

ConVal is scheduled to travel to Hopkinton on Monday and then play the home opener next Thursday versus Kearsarge. But that is all dependant on how the weather goes between now and then.

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