Preparedness the key to success for the Highlander girls lacrosse

Coach recaps season: Team had confidence in tight match-ups

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By Josh Lashley

Something that can be stated with a great degree of certitude that favored the West Milford High School girl’s lacrosse program throughout this past season is that they were well prepared.

Proof that this is true can be seen in just how good they were in competition as soon as the regular season got underway.

“Our first two games (Fair Lawn and Immaculata), we came out strong and had a comfortable lead in the first half, in the second half we let them back in,’’ West Milford head coach Christian Conway said. “However, we found a way to fight back and hang on for the win. Starting strong has been a historical problem for our team so it was nice to see us able to do that.

“In our third game (Northern Valley Demarest) we fell behind in the first half but were able to climb back and win. Again it set us up to be confident that we were not out of a game if we fell behind. All three games were tight at the end and getting those wins gave us the confidence to play in tight games and be able to close them out.’’

There were several student-athletes who were outstanding in the leadership department for the Highlanders this year.

“Alex Butler, Aleah Coscia, and Alex (Sasha) Umansky emerged as leaders this season,’’ Conway said. “Our captains (Siobhan Murray, Danielle Dellapi, Taylor Bishop and Tara Maupai) were already providing great leadership by getting the team ready to play and leading with their own play on the field. Alex, Aleah and Sasha built on that by helping to maintain the positive energy and inspire their teammates with their own play.’’

Coach Conway was pleased to see the positive progression from student-athletes on the roster this spring.

“Mackenzie Keane, Sera Agostinelli and Kari Malatak took huge steps forward this season,’’ Conway said. “They became regular contributors to the team and really helped our depth at multiple positions.

Marissa Ehrmann also made major strides as a late season call up for depth on our bench. I am extremely excited to see their continued development play out in more prominent roles next season.''

The Highlanders tallied an overall record of 10-7 and they were 5-2 (third place) in the NJIGLL American South Division.

They advanced to the NJSIAA North 1 Group 2 Sectional Tournament where they were defeated by Ramapo.

“There is an excitement about the direction the team is moving,’’ Conway said. “While we didn't have a significant change in record from last season, the energy level is higher than ever."

"We are losing a lot of talent but the players returning and the ones continuing to develop have a hunger for more that we are going to channel and use to help the program grow and improve.’’

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