Written by Matt Moro: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00
Every year the most experienced members of a team move on, while new members get ready to develop and fill the shoes of those before them. The success of former teams does not guarantee success in the future, as every team must develop and grow on their own.
For the 2012 Mineola varsity girls’ lacrosse team, this season was about growing that talent.
A year after the 2011 Lady Mustangs made a late run into the playoffs, head coach Frank Massaro understood that this year would be a learning experience for a much younger team.
“Our goal for a season is always to make the playoffs,” said Massaro, “but this season was a rebuilding season.”
Losing key seniors from the 2011 team, Massaro knew that the defense for the Lady Mustangs would have to step up, because the offense was going to be a work in progress, a feeling shared by his players.
“We definitely need our defense for everything,” senior Nikki Vella said. Coach Massaro believed that returning most of his defense from previous years would give the team much needed leadership.
He also knew he would be relying heavily on Kerri Medlock.
“Kerri’s job was to make everyone around her better,” Massaro stated about his senior, an All-County player as a sophomore and an important veteran leader.
Medlock understood her role on a young and developing team. “I had to work as hard as I could, because the younger players looked up to me. We all have the same goal.”
It was the job of the seniors to get rid of the “JV mindset” as Medlock calls it, and fellow senior Emma Perez believes this became a noticeable improvement of the team throughout the season.
“People started feeling more confident,” Perez stated. “Instead of Kerri doing all the shooting, the team became more aggressive.”
Even as the team’s chances of making the playoffs dwindled, the chemistry of the Lady Mustangs remained unharmed. “We’ve been playing together in other seasons and other sports,” says Perez, “and we can get past the losses and move on.” “We always worked as hard in the games as we did in practice,” added Vella.
The Lady Mustangs hope that the rebuilding process of this season will lead to success for next year’s team, as they will try to take the positives from the 2012 season and build on them.
“[Sophomores] Nicole Forte and Rebecca Chiu had good years, and Nicole had never played lacrosse and Rebecca had never played goalie,” Perez stated. “Also [junior] Ashley Stavish had a nice year and she should be a leader next year having three years of varsity experience.”
After a rebuilding year in 2012, the Lady Mustangs will look to take their positive attitude and chemistry as well as the experience gained from the learning process into the 2013 season.
Every year is different in high school sports, and the Mineola varsity girl’s lacrosse team will try to make next season a year to get back on track.