MSD women’s varsity lacrosse finishes the month of March with an improved record

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Playing it safe. Eagles attack Stephanie Bilsky (25) sends a short pass back to keep the ball away from defenders. Bilsky and many other Eagles attackers contributed in the team’s 19-4 win against Spanish River.

David Lopez and Reece Gary

After starting the season with a perfect 3-0 record, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas women’s varsity lacrosse team sought to continue their progress going into their match against the St. Andrew’s Scots. 

On Wednesday, March 3, the Eagles began their game at home against St. Andrew’s High School at 6 p.m. The struggling Scots were the perfect opponent for the Eagles, as the win was nearly guaranteed after a few minutes. From the opening whistle, the Eagles were dominant and had no difficulty scoring on the Scots defense.

“It was an incredible game with team work from every player. We all enjoyed it,” defender Emily Nash (29) said. 

The Eagles did not give up possession often, and even if the Scots were to score, they responded with goals of their own. By the second half, the Eagles’ attackers took control of the game and seemed in complete control. 

After seniors Alexa Kitaygorodsky (3) and Lauren Figas (12) added multiple goals to their tallies for the season, the Eagles reached an insurmountable lead. The Eagles ran away with a 21-8 win and improved their record to 4-0 for the season. 

The Eagles victory was short lived, as two days later they stepped onto the field once again for an away game against  St. Thomas Aquinas High School. The match, which took place on Friday, March 5, started off at 5 p.m., featured the Eagles facing their toughest challenge of the season.

St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders joined the Eagles in not having any losses at that point in the season, so both teams prepared for a difficult match. 

As the first whistle was blown, defense took focus on both sides for the first few minutes. The Raiders held on and suffocated each of the Eagles’ attackers, and eventually St. Thomas got the first goal of the game. This was a trend for the rest of the match, as the Eagles inability to score led to the Raiders having many chances and taking a big lead over the Eagles by halftime. 

“The team was not comfortable tonight. We got in our heads and played sloppy,” midfielder Sammy Fischer (5) said.

Even if the Eagles were able to put a couple of goals on the board, there was no momentum to build off of and the game only got worse in the second half. 

Without their usual efficiency in attack, the team was unable to even take the lead against St. Thomas. By the end of the night, the Raiders won by a commanding score of 16-4, handing the Eagles their first loss of the season.

The Eagles went back to the drawing board as they had a few days of practice and preparation before their next match.

MSD next took to the field on Wednesday, March 10  at 5 p.m, as the lacrosse program was given their senior night for this home game against the Spanish River Sharks. 

The Eagles had not faced strong opposition before St. Thomas and when finally given a successful opponent, the Eagles did not play to their regular standards. With Spanish River also having a strong start to their season, the Eagles were sure to not get caught off-guard by a talented team once again.

Within seconds, attacker Skylar Gerena (13)  gave the Eagles a goal to start the game strong. The pressure the Eagles put on the Sharks helped the team build a large early lead, as goals from Kitaygorodsky, Fischer, Figas and others led to a 14-3 margin at halftime in MSD’s favor. 

“We’ve definitely improved from our last game where we looked sloppy, we improved our positioning and we are definitely looking forward to playing St. Thomas again,” Figas said. 

After the disappointing loss to St. Thomas, the Eagles put much more effort into bouncing back and getting each attacker involved in the scoring.

At the start of the second half, the Eagles placed much more emphasis on keeping possession of the ball to keep the Sharks out of the goal and avoid the large number of goals that St. Thomas accumulated a few days prior. 

After the Eagles attack gave the team a 15-goal lead, the defense stepped up to prevent any further goals by the Sharks. A consistent second half confirmed the Eagles victory, at a score of 19-4.  This win took MSD to a 4-1 record and helped to bring momentum back to the team after the previous game’s loss.

After the successful match, the MSD mens and women’s lacrosse teams joined together for a Senior Night Celebration, where a tunnel made up of both teams’ players cheered for the seniors who are currently playing some of their final games for the Eagles.

For the Lady Eagles, the seniors recognized were the team’s three captains: Kitaygorodsky, Fischer, and Figas.

“Senior night was so much fun. It was so nice being with the team celebrating going off to college. It was great to have the team all together as a unit,” Fischer said.

After coming back from spring break and a few practices beforehand, the Eagles went away to American Heritage on March 30, attempting to continue their momentum from the win on senior night. 

The game was slower than the team anticipated and the Eagles never really found their groove, easily giving up goals and allowing Heritage to take control from the start of the match.

After an 18-8 loss, the Eagles practically had no time to recover with a game scheduled for the next. The game on March 31, against the Park Vista Cobras, started at 5 p.m. and was a needed rebound for the team. 

From start to finish, the Eagles put out a dominant performance and ended the month of March strong with a slew of goals in the first few minutes. 

The final score ended at 18-3, a strong showing and a well-earned victory for the Eagles who now only have two matches remaining before the playoffs begin. 

Their first of these two games will be against St John Paul II Academy on Wednesday, April 7 at 5 p.m.