Sports

Mason Girls Lacrosse Goes 3-0 in Early Season

MasonDefense2010_SouthLakes-002-(1)The Mason High School boys and girls lacrosse teams are at two different places early in the 2010 season. But both can be ultimately be positions of strength, and hopefully, at the end of the year, result in deep post season runs.

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George Mason High School junior midfielder Abby Johansen (#13) guards South Lakes senior midfielder Abby Reed (#18) while GMHS senior attack Christina Perez (#4) moves to set up a double. GMHS players Taylor Bottock and Amanda Rolander, and look on. (Photo: Jane Johansen)

The Mason High School boys and girls lacrosse teams are at two different places early in the 2010 season. But both can be ultimately be positions of strength, and hopefully, at the end of the year, result in deep post season runs.

The Mustang boys are a young group. The team lost 10 seniors off of last year’s team that went 13-3, including six starters.

The year, the boys sit at 2-2. Wins came 15-2 over Trinity School and 8-7 against Potomac Falls. The losses came 7-6 to Heritage High, and 8-7 against South Lakes in overtime. It was those two close losses that head coach Rich Costello cited as the result of a young team that has yet learned how to finish.

“We’ve got a lot of young players, and a lot of guys without a lot of experience,” said Costello during a recent phone interview. “It’s a bit of a learning curve.”

While a young team, the Mustangs have upperclassmen in key positions. The squad is led by senior attacker – and captain – Mike Duning.

“He’s like the quarterback of the offense,” Costello said of his team’s leading scorer. “He’s taken a leadership role on and off the field.”

On defense, the team is guided by senior and co-captain Bennett Pribulka, who usually defends the opposing team’s best offensive player. In goal is senior Sam Dittmar, who is finally getting a chance to shine after backing up others. Senior Yates Jordan is also expected to make an impact.

With the necessary talent, the Mustang boys plan gaining enough experience in the next few weeks to make a run in the playoffs.

“In April, the games stack up,” said Costello, adding that local talent has improved as well. “We have to learn fast.”

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George Mason junior midfielder Abby Johansen (#13 black) cradles the ball between Potomac Falls players, freshman attack Kaityln Rogers (#13 white) and sophomore defender Cynthia Abell (#15). (Photo: Jane Johansen)

On the girls side, there’s a lot of confidence.

A lot of confidence.

“Basically, we expect to go out and win every game,” said girls lacrosse head coach Courtney Gibbons during a phone interview. “We have really high expectations.”

And why not? In three games this season, the Mustangs have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 52-24. Wins have come 12-5 against Potomac Falls, 21-11 over Heritage and 19-8 over South Lakes for a 3-0 record.

Senior captains Gwen Edwards and Chelsea Wilkes lead the team from a midfield position, and junior Abby Johansen is also expected to make a big contribution. Senior Meghan Powell is in goal, and midfielder senior Courtney Ready and senior Grace Kuipers on defense are both captains.

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George Mason senior defender Grace Kuipers (#7), runs the ball up field out of South Lakes territory while keeping an eye ready for a potential pass, and guarded by South Lakes senior defender Alison Westfall (#45). (Photo: Jane Johansen)

To make some noise this season, the Mustangs know they have to handle rival Broad Run, who they play at home on April 8. Again, that confidence comes into play.

“It’s all coming together,” Gibbons said. “The girls are playing so well.”

The girls lacrosse team returns to action on Monday at 7:15 p.m. at home against Eastern View. The boys are at Eastern View on Monday at 6:30 p.m., and return home on April 12 when they host West Potomac.

 

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