Spring Sports 2015 preview: Groton-Dunstable Crusaders girls’ lacrosse

Coach: Sarah Valacer

Years as head coach: 2

Last year’s record: 12-8

Playoffs results: Lost in D2 Central/West semi-finals to Bromfield 8-7

Key contributors lost: Shelley Herlihy (defender), Livy Penney (midfielder), Liv Rubeski (midfielder)

Captains: Nicki Wilkinson (Senior), Fiona Henry (Senior), Maria Antonellis (Junior), Becca Herlihy (Junior)

Returning starters: Nicki Wilkinson, Fiona Henry, Maria Antonellis, Becca Herlihy, Julie King, Sara Walsh, Olivia Aumais, Emily Acone, Sophie Irby

Last year’s stats for top returning players:

Nicki Wilkinson (Midfield) – 104 points, 69 goals
Maria Antonellis (Goalie) – 0.78 save %

Biggest games on schedule, league and nonleague: League – Algonquin (4/16 & 5/12), Shrewsbury (4/9 & 5/5). Nonleague – Westford (4/23), Bromfield (5/21).

Team strengths: Valacer: “This is the 3rd season the junior class will be playing together at the Varsity level. They have matured a lot over the past year and work extremely well both together and with the newcomers.”

Areas that need improvement: Valacer: “Defense lost their leader, Shelley Herlihy. Although by the time the first game comes we should be ready with some strong players stepping up to the challenge of leading. We took a big hit on attack losing Livy Penney (46 goals last season) and Liv Rubeski (67 goals last season) but there are some younger girls looking to fill those holes already.”

Team goals: Valacer: “Go farther in the tournament than last season.”

Overall impression of the team/other comments: Valacer: “The girls came ready to
play. They are excited and have been playing together all winter to prepare.”

For more G-D sports coveragte, visit TheGrotonLine.com.

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