First Year Girls Lacrosse Quick Learners

Published in the May 21, 2008 issue of The Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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One might have thought a 16-4 loss at Shrewsbury would have been a lousy way to end a week in which the Nashoba Regional girls' lacrosse team played three road games in as many days, but head coach Laurie Griffin didn't look at it that way. To hear her tell it, Thursday's performance against Shrewsbury said more about how the team has improved in its inaugural season than some of the lopsided victories the Chieftains have posted along the way.

On the heels of an 11-4 victory at Marlboro on Tuesday and an 11-7 win at St. Bernard's on Wednesday, the Shrewsbury loss brought Nashoba's record to 8-4-1 on the season. Improbably, the Chieftains needed just one more victory in their next six games to make the playoffs in their first year fielding a varsity squad.

“There are aspects of the game that clearly we need to continue to work hard, on but also things I think for a first year varsity team we've done very well,” Griffin said. “Another thing that's kind of a barometer is that the girls are pleased with how they're doing. That's most important, that they can see their improvement. The record is sort of the icing on the cake.”

Nashoba first faced off against the defending Division 1 Central champion Colonials exactly five weeks earlier, a loss in which the final score of 12-3 didn't come close to reflecting the extent to which the young Chieftains were overmatched, Griffin said. But that game gave the Chieftains an opportunity to experience lacrosse at a high level—an opportunity Griffin said was invaluable.

Even better was having the chance to compare the Chieftains' performance in that Shrewsbury game with their performance this past Thursday, as a benchmark of how the team has improved—particularly in terms of defense and stickwork—and a possible harbinger of what they can expect in the postseason.

“To have the opportunity to play a team like Shrewsbury at this point in the season, we were able to see how far have we come as well as what we still need to work on,” Griffin said. “It also put us at an intensity level that we haven't seen since we last played them, and it really helped the girls focus. I was very pleased with our second time around with them.”

Stow athletes who have made contributions for the Chieftains this season include juniors Trisha Starkey and Meghan Stafford and freshman Alicyn Reverdy on offense, and sophomore Shelby Sirois on defense.

“They are quick learners, and they're like sponges right now. They're eager to learn about the game and really seem to be enjoying playing the game,” Griffin said. “That pleases me most of all I think because it's really an amazing game to play and to watch.”

The Chieftains had another three back-to-back-to-back games scheduled for this week, concluding with a home rematch against St. Bernard's slated for this afternoon at 3:30 pm. Also on the schedule this week is a rare Saturday game at home against Nipmuc Regional, a chance to avenge a 9-5 loss to the Warriors on May 1.

Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239