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Girls’ Lacrosse Season Preview

April 7, 2019

LUNENBURG -- The Blue Knights are in good shape headed into the season.

The Lunenburg girls’ lacrosse team might not shock its Central Mass. opponents this spring, but it boasts more than enough talent to reassert its authority this year under head coach Nicole Therrien.

Here’s a look at how Lunenburg and the area’s girls’ lacrosse teams are shaping up at the start of the high school season.

2018 graduated seniors: Kelly Gearin, Sarah Blomgren, Gabby Alleva, Julia LeBlanc, Ashley Blatt, Molly Masciarelli, Hannah Begley

2019 key returners: Libby Walsh, Rachel Drasser, Alizah Raboin, Lauren Blomgren, Julia Wilson, Jenna May, Brenna Wilkins, Kenzie Mannone, Lena Spadafore

2019 notable newcomers: Daphne Sroka, Lauren Ruggeiro, Jinnie Do, Kylie Joyce, Joanne Badran, Catherine Swift, Haley Lewenczuk, Gabby Comeau, Emily Dumford

There are seven seniors on Therrien’s roster, with five of them in defensive positions. They will keep May safe in front of the cage. Expect Raboin to shuttle between the midfield and attack. Blomgren’s athletic, naturally, and is young; she has plenty of time to grow into the goal-scorer of the future.

Comeau is compact and will be hard for opposing defenses to crack down on, especially if she gets shifty in the fan.

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Monty Tech had a tough season last year, but head coach Maureen Watson has plenty of offense returning and is looking to turn the Colonial Athletic League on its ear.

2018 graduated seniors: Sophia Chernoch, Sam Haley, Mylori Aubuchon

2019 key returners: Claire Petersen (junior, midfield), Abbey Sallila (sophomore, midfield), Mayling Tedstone (senior, attack), Graciana Drakes (senior, defense), Lily Kuntz (sophomore, attack)

2019 notable newcomers: Jelizabeth Amparo (sophomore, defense), Abby Kirrane (freshman, defense), Jasmine Sayarath (freshman, defense), Molly Eglington (freshman, midfield-attack)

Peterson was the Bulldogs’ top scorer last year, and Watson is moving Sallila up to midfield from the defensive corps. In addition, Tedstone will move from the midfield up to attack. Keep your eye on Kuntz; my spies out on the city line tell me she’s going to score a truckload of onions for the Purple and Gold.

The newcomers are new to the sport itself, but Watson is confident they can get the job done. We’re looking at Amparo, Kirrane and Sayarath to hold that fort down.

Monty Tech has depth -- 27 varsity players -- so expect the Bulldogs to shuffle players in and out to keep them fresh. Watson has also done some work on the schedule, and should find joy with some new teams to play.

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Reilly McCobb is the new coach at Nashoba Regional, and she feels it will be a rebuilding year.

2019 key returners: Ellie Kovach, Gillian Fay, Maddie Edwards, Shauna Curran, Lydia Foster-Smith, Jane Keaveney

2019 notable newcomers: Graham Straface, Taylor Riley

McCobb notes that the returning corps will be important, with Kovach and Fay protecting Edwards in the cage. Keaveney is the centerpiece in attack, and will have company up top with Straface shuttling between attack and the midfield.

Watch out for Riley, a rising star.

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At Leominster, coach Marianne Pickering has plenty coming back.

2018 graduated seniors: Rylee Skinner and Addie White

2019 key returners: Alexis Hahn (goalie), Sophie Schuster (midfield), Violet Reynolds (defense), Leilani Amarasinghe (attack), Eliza Howlett (midfield)

2019 notable newcomers: Elizabeth Larson (sophomore), Laura Young (freshman)

Pickering says she has a talented group, and we can see plenty of athleticism in the midfield between Schuster and Howlett.

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At Fitchburg, Becca Fluet hopes the five returning seniors she has -- who started the FHS girls’ lax program four years ago with her -- go out with a bang.

2018 graduated seniors: Ailene Alcantara, Michelle Cochran, Diana Bajana, Jazmyne Rodriguez, Nyejah Johnson, Kylie Dudek, Alondra Casiano

2019 key returners: Diandra Boddie, Megan Duong, Jayda Kalaco, Jesmary Melendez, Alana Perry

2019 notable newcomers: Alexa Silverberg

Fluet says her team is young, and that the seniors are expected to lead by example. Outside of experience, we’re looking to see what Silverberg can do.

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Like McCobb, Samantha Bontempo is the new coach at North Middlesex Regional.

2019 key returning players: Jordan Highley, Caitlin Swartz, Neris Archambault, Grace Barron, Madeline Marshall

2019 notable newcomers: Lindsey Swartz, Aimee Stairs

The Patriots are young, but scrappy. Highley scored 26 goals and registered nine helpers last year, and Marshall will look to cut down on the goals allowed. Archambault and Barron will be in front of her.

The Swartz sisters will be in the middle, and Stairs will look to challenge Highley for goals.

Bontempo believes the Route 119ers have what it takes to make the postseason.

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At St. Bernard’s, co-coaches Kelly Sylvia and Bethany Terho have returned quite a bit from last year’s team; a year of experience under the Bernies’ belts should get them closer to a postseason berth.

2018 graduated seniors: Kat Bigelow, Danielle LaFlamme

2019 key returners: Tory Hanlon, Olivia Rampello, Kara Boissoneau, Akshara Challa, Cali Laakso, Gracie Soultanian, Brooke Sentatore, Abby Morris, Maggie Constantino, Abby Doheny

2019 notable newcomers: Katie Boissoneau, Grace Goolsby

There’s quite a bit of talent and athleticism here, from Hanlon and the Boissoneaus to Laakso and Constantino.

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At Oakmont Regional, the lone girls’ lacrosse team to capture a playoff win last spring lost some talent, a.k.a. Maddie Moran. But as sports are cyclical, there is plenty coming back.

2018 graduated seniors: Jackie Beatty (M), Riley Hess (A), Maddie Moran (A), Hailey Davis (D) Isabel Gelinas (D)

2019 key returners: Rachael Lemay (senior, A), Irini Stefanakos (sophomore, D), Audrey Dolan (junior, M), Olivia Wells (junior, G)

2019 notable newcomers: Katie Dolan (freshman, A), Alana Barrett (junior, D), Allyson Foley (freshman, M)

Head coach Bina Milger notes the changes in team makeup, but she also believes in the incoming players.

Oakmont reloads with Dolan coming in, and she’ll be competing with Lemay for goals. Stefanakos, only a sophomore, has experience at the varsity level in other sports, so she knows what it takes.

Looking for Wells to have another strong year.