It’s said that the only thing tougher than becoming a champion is remaining a champion. And coach Rob Daziel and his Pinkerton Academy girls’ lacrosse squad may find out just how true that old adage is this spring.
The defending Division I champs will begin their 2014 campaign with four consecutive road games beginning with a trek to Concord to battle the Crimson Tide next Tuesday, April 15.
The Lady Astros collected the second state championship in program history and the first since 2004 last spring under second-year coach Daziel by besting the Souhegan High Lady Sabers of Amherst in the Division I title match.
“A repeat would be wonderful, but we have a lot of work to do before we get there,” said Daziel, a former high school All-American lacrosse player at Londonderry High who went on to play the sport at New England College in Henniker.
After posting a 17-4 record and snagging the big trophy at the close of the 2013 campaign, the Pinkerton bunch steps into the 2014 season with talented and seasoned returnees.
The key returnees include senior attacks Kennedy Daziel, Sierra Sanchez, and Maggie Mulrennan, junior attacks Micaela Capozzo and Amanda Szostak, senior midfielder Erin Coutts, senior defenders Jessica Cote and Eva Murray, senior goalie Sarah Lambert, junior middie Maggie McCarthy, and sophomore midfielder Alison Davis.
Other returnees from last spring’s championship team include senior defenders Samantha Albano and Courtney Lampert, junior attack Colby Milsaps, junior defenders Melanie George and Kristen Sobolewski, and sophomore goaltender Kyra Goucher.
Among the promising newcomers on the Lady Astros’ roster are senior transfer student and midfielder Aleah MacKay, junior defender Morgan Hazelton, and freshmen Danielle Tompkins (attack), Avery Drouin (middie), and Emily Sharretts (defense).
When asked what he thinks the keys will be for another successful season for his crew, Daziel responded, “We will need to get our transition and settled defensive play to the caliber that we were playing at toward the end of the last season. Holding opposing teams’ goal scoring to under eight to 10 goals will keep us in every game. If we are in the game, we can win it.”
And looking at the rest of Division I, Daziel said, “Souhegan, Londonderry, and Exeter all have strong rosters returning this year in D-1. I expect Bedford, Portsmouth, and Windham to be tough out-of-division opponents as well.”