By Linda Cheung
Following their 8-7 win against Elmont Memorial High School, NHP’s girls varsity lacrosse team faced Garden City in the first round of playoff matches. The Gladiators competed on May 19 at 2:30 p.m. at Garden City High School. Many anticipated a tough game for NHP as Garden City is one of the best teams in the conference.
“We’re playing one of the best teams in the county, definitely the number one team in Class B, so we want to compete; we want to play hard. I hope we are successful in that. We can compete till the end and see what the outcome is,” athletic director Mr. Maguire said.
Source by Linda Cheung
From left to right: Alexandra Stec, Sarah Dempsey and Alexandra Marsella are strategizing mid-game; Gisu Park is defending the ball from the Garden City Spartans; Rachel Priest is focused on stealing the ball before the opposing team does.
Many feel that NHP competing against a high-level team such as Garden City is important for the improvement of the girls lacrosse program and demonstrates the effort required to combat more vigorous teams.
“I think this is a big step for our lacrosse program, where we have the younger girls going to play and continue lacrosse, not just in season, but outside of the season to play at the highest level,” Mr. Maguire said.
“Today’s game is important because it shows that NHP can play with the big leagues, and we’re not just a little school. We have power, we can make it to [the] playoffs, and despite the score, this is the best we’ve done,” girls varsity lacrosse goalie Alexandra Stec said.
Source by Linda Cheung
"We have power, we can make it to [the] playoffs, and despite the score, this is the best we’ve done,” girls varsity lacrosse goalie Alexandra Stec said.
The match ended with the Gladiators losing 18-0, as compared to last year’s 22-1 playoff loss to Garden City.
In light of the season’s end, athletes on the girls varsity lacrosse team reminisced about their introduction into the sport.
“I’ve been playing since fourth grade on PAL, and I’ve been playing ever since,” sophomore Grace Garvey said.
“I honestly wasn’t gonna play goalie in seventh grade,” Stec said. “I was gonna play attack, but then Coach Gagnon knew who I was, and he kinda got me into the whole goalie spot, and ever since then I’ve joined a travel team, I’ve played for the Long Island team at nationals…I’ve loved it, and I’m so happy I could make it this far.”
Several players also referenced their lacrosse mentors who helped them compete at playoffs.
“My mentor for the varsity level is Emily Mirabile; she was a great one. Also UNC goalie, now, team USA goalie, Taylor Moreno and Virginia Tech goalie Angie Benson,” Stec said.
Like many sports, the demanding nature of varsity lacrosse requires a significant time commitment. The athletes considered the various ways they have learned to manage multiple responsibilities including academic, social and familial obligations.
“It’s all about balance, you just do your homework in school, so you can enjoy lacrosse and go home and relax,” junior Nicole Pappas said.
“It’s definitely tough, but after a while I’ve learned to manage it,” Stec said. “I have my travel team on Sundays so it doesn’t interfere with varsity, and the team itself is my social life. I have all my friends on the team. On the weekends, I’m always free, and I always find time for my friends.”