Girls lacrosse nets two wins

Published 10:01 am Friday, March 25, 2016

Davie fielded its first girls lacrosse team this year to join the rest of the Central Piedmont Conference schools and boys’ teams in the “Fastest Game On Two Feet.”

It has been a year-long effort to be able to put together a team.  Marjorie Foster spearheaded the effort with principal Doyle Nicholson and athletic director Mike Absher.

“The North Carolina High School Athletic Association considers Davie a club team this year since we were not organized before last summer and had to raise a lot of money for gear and equipment,” Foster said. “The parents did a wonderful job helping with fundraisers. We sponsored a FUMC church dinner, sold raffle tickets at a basketball game and asked for donations.”

DC LAX, Davie County’s club U8-U15 team headed by Scott Landy, donated the first set of goalie gear.

“That was a tremendous help as we still had to have additional goalie gear, practice equipment and uniforms,” Foster said. “Heading into the season, I had no real intention of being the head coach. As the preseason progressed, it became apparent there were no other adults with experience in women’s lacrosse. I had enough knowledge to be dangerous due to my daughter’s past experience playing with Winston Salem LAX.

“Unlike most sports, women’s lacrosse is totally different than boy’s. I have been fortunate to gain an assistant coach in Laura Kiricoples from the high school to help out. We would like to thank everyone that contributed, donated or just added motivation for the girls. We are having a blast with this group.”

Davie didn’t know what to expect going into the first game with rival West Forsyth on its turf on March 14. As it turned out, the War Eagles made a tremendous showing against the Titans’ junior-varsity team, losing 5-4 after leading 3-2 at halftime.

“I was very nervous for them knowing that West has had a storied history in lacrosse for years now,” Foster said. “We went hoping the girls could learn about the game and take away experience for the season. West is a tough one to have to start the season with,  but they went in with their heads up.”

West scored early in the first half to take a 2-0 lead.

“Even with being down 2-0, I thought we had the talent to come back and challenge them,” Foster said.

And challenge they did, the War Eagles scoring three goals before halftime to take the 3-2 lead at the break. Goals by Patterson Jones, Emery Rosenbaum and Sierra Foster put them in the lead.

The second half was a see-saw. West tied it at 3 in the first two minutes of the second half, and then Foster struck back two minutes later to give Davie a 4-3 lead. West was able to put together two goals near the end of regulation to win 5-4.

Making the opener all the more impressive, Davie pushed a quality team to the limit. West improved to 3-1, including decisive wins over Mt. Tabor (9-1) and Mt. Tabor (11-4). The only loss was 4-2 to East Forsyth.

“To be able to hang with them was great,” Foster said. “Ms. K (Kiricoples) and I were very excited with the effort, and it really fired up the team and their confidence,” Foster said.

Davie returned two days later for a rematch at West Forsyth. This time it was all Davie, the War Eagles soaring to a 4-1 halftime lead and winning 7-1.

“We had one practice to work on several issues from the first game and the girls came through on defense,” Foster said. “West rolled the back side of the cage for three goals in the first match and we worked on stopping that play.”

Davie started out of the gate strong with a goal by Jill Staley three minutes in, followed shortly by a goal on off side back attack by Rosenbaum. West struck back with their only goal in the first half to make it 2-1. Midfielders Patterson Jones and Kailen Thomas wasted no time getting goals to take a 4-1 lead to the half.

“The girls were about to jump out of their skin with the possibility of a win over archrival West,” Foster said. “We had to work hard to keep them focused on the bench. Girls lacrosse is a new sport in this area and our parents are probably very confused about what’s happening on the field. I have 28 girls to try and play, but given the limited amount of time to substitute on the fly, it’s proving very difficult to do.”

When play resumed, it was a standoff until a shooting space foul by West on midfielder Foster gave her a direct 8-m free shot.

“Sierra has been deadly on 8m’s so far this season as the only player on the team with any past experience in lacrosse,” Foster said.

On the ensuing center draw, Jones and Foster continued their dominance in gaining possession. Foster raced to goal and scored. They immediately repeated their performance for a third goal for Foster in less than 2 minutes of running clock time to seal the game at 7-1.

“Even though Sierra had a hat trick (three goals) for us, I still had to give the player-of-the-game recognition to our goalie, Latoyia (T.T.) Doulin,” Foster said. “She told me after the first game that she wasn’t going to let them score on her anymore and boy, did she step up. She had 10 saves on 11 shots on goal. She was a beast for us. Goalies are doing well at a 50-percent save rate but her 91 percent is beyond excellent. She takes a lot of punishment in practice, and I was tickled to death to see it pay off for her.”

The victory over West’s JV (3-2-1) was a team effort.

“Our defense really stepped up. Alexis Dulin, Bailey Walsh, Anna Jones and Mary Ellen Lewis held us together all night,” Foster said. “They didn’t let West get a single roll cage play, which I believe really frustrated West. Every player that entered the game did their job.”

The War Eagles (2-1) stayed hot at Mt. Tabor on March 18, drubbing the Spartans’ junior varsity 7-1.

Jones poured in four goals, with Foster, Rosenbaum and Staley adding one each as Davie built a 4-0 halftime advantage. Rosenbaum scored off a perfect pass from Victoria Sinopoli.

Goalie T.T. Doulin collected seven saves.

“First-time starters Claire Wallace and Ellie Byers stepped up on defense, and Tati Armstrong and Gracie O’Brien did their jobs on attack,” Foster said. “I just love seeing the girls working together as a team and having a blast doing it. If the (first week) is any indication, it’s turning into an exciting season.”

As a club team, Davie plays against JV teams. Jones is the only senior. The roster includes juniors Hope Allen, Armstrong, Courtney Howard, Anna Jones, Healy Junker, Mary Ellen Lewis, Loren Myers, O’Brien, Kate Sink, Kailen Thomas, Abby Wall and Bailey Walsh; sophomores Byers, Doulin, Grace Nixon, Emily Pender, Sinopoli, Staley and Wallace; and freshmen Morgan Athey, Alexis Dulin, Natalie Folsom, Foster, Maggie Junker, Rosenbaum, Caitlyn Sagraves and Hannah Williams. Managers are Haley Fife and Allison Staley.