Girls’ lacrosse team begins new season


photo contributed by Annette Ayres

The varsity girls’ lacrosse team huddles together before their first game. This huddle was created as part of a new routine this season.

A legacy to uphold.

After a record-breaking season last year, what was in store for this season?

Head coach Kristen Herndon has one thing in mind for the varsity girls’ lacrosse team: going further in state playoffs.

New uniforms. New look. New routine. These were the steps needed to enhance the team. For example, the team started using Hudl to record games and stats, so the team could watch themselves afterwards and correct mistakes they saw.

Along with everything else new, the team needed to fill some crucial positions on the team, including a new goalie.

Freshman Sammy Keene trained with Northwest alumna Savannah Ranson on succeeding in this role. Keene has been training with Ranson since the sixth grade, and Ranson has become not only a mentor but a big sister to her.

“She recognizes my weaknesses and works with me to improve them, so I can be the best I can be,” Keene said. “The biggest thing I’ve learned from her is to be mentally tough. If you let in a goal, that’s okay; the next one is a save. You can’t beat yourself up if you let in a goal.”

Keene still keeps in contact with her mentor, furthering the close bond between them.

“She always texts me ‘good luck’ and gives me tips on game days and asks how our games went,” Keene said.

Keene had a huge game on Mon. March 9, where she had a .578 save percentage. Her efforts helped the team beat the R.J. Reynolds Demons.

Junior attacker Katie Keller was another key member on the other side of the field. In the past two games, she’s scored four goals and had two assists.

A memorable moment for her so far this season was against Charlotte Catholic in the first game. It not only impacted her confidence but also the team’s momentum.

“There was this one flip pass (during the Charlotte Catholic game) where Carlie Saums passed it to me, and I came off and scored,” Keller said. “It made me think ‘I could do this’ during a very tough, nerve-wracking game.”

Keller  has seen the team especially grow and develop this season. She attributes this to the new routine implemented.

“It hypes us up more, and we feel more organized,” Keller said. “The new gear makes us feel more authentic…big, bad and tough.”

The team, currently 1-1, has a challenging season ahead. They are scheduled to play teams that they’ve never faced before, including Weddington, Ardrey Kell and Lake Norman. The ultimate goal from playing these teams is to receive a challenge and learn from them.

The girls play at home Thurs. March 12 against Ravenscroft at 5 p.m. and home Sat. March 14 against Weddington at 2 p.m.