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The Return Of Women’s Lacrosse

Reach+for+the+stars.+All+of+the+girls+lacrosse+players+lift+their+stick+towards+the+sky+as+their+routine+before+every+game+to+break+off+the+huddle.+After+they+dispersed%2C+the+starting+players+went+onto+the+field+and+played+against+Berkely+Preparatory+School.
Ainsley Wilgis
Reach for the stars. All of the girls lacrosse players lift their stick towards the sky as their routine before every game to break off the huddle. After they dispersed, the starting players went onto the field and played against Berkely Preparatory School.

Following their 13-6 record during the 2022-23 season, the Coyotes are back and ready to play. The Coyotes are facing off against many new opponents. Academy of the Holy Names and IMG Academy Blue were added to the Coyote’s schedule to balance out their season. These schools have some of the best lacrosse teams in the state, and the team looks forward to the challenge.  

Freshman goalie Sydney Goad said, “I’m looking forward to playing all the big names like Academy of the Holy Names, IMG, etc. Those are games that will really test us, and I have old teammates on them.” 

Senior captain Ashlynn Hutner said, “Not really nervous, but I think it’s good to play other teams that we haven’t played before because then we’re not expecting a certain outcome.”  

Many opponents on the schedule play within the Coyote’s district, 1A D5. River Ridge, Pasco and Wesley Chapel are familiar to the team, and Berkley Prep. along with Tampa Catholic balance out the district competition. Our Coyotes are currently 5-0 in district games. The team has scored 87 goals and only allowed 18 within district play. 

Hutner said, “Sunlake. They beat us one year for the district champions and I really want it back.” On March 3, 2024, Hutner and her teammates got their revenge, beating Sunlake 15-3.  

Junior captain Izzy Coker said, “I’m really looking forward to our whole entire schedule. I’m excited to see how far we’re going to come as a team, but Sickles is definitely one of the ones I’m really looking forward to and excited for because that is my whole entire travel team.” 

On April 2, Coker and her teammates battled the Gryphons, but lost 12-6. 

The team is working on building their chemistry to improve their performance in games. Coker said, “I’m very excited for this season. I think that we’re really going to come together as a team. Practice by practice we are already getting better and building a lot of chemistry with each other.” 

The leading scorer for the Coyotes is sophomore Lexi Zink. Zink leads the Coyotes with 69 goals. Zink said, “The key scoring is the team’s chemistry. Everybody knows where each other’s gonna be. Sometimes our communication is non-verbal, we just look at each other and know what we’re doing.”  

At this point of the season the Coyotes are number one in their district and have a stellar record of 12-5. Coker said, “The loss against Sickles was unfortunate, we did not show up. We were not mentally in the right place to take on one of our main competitors.”  

Since its first official season in 2019, the Coyotes have grown tremendously.  

Hutner said, “Freshman year we had maybe around 11 people. It was a really small team, like we barely had enough to even play. It’s great knowing that the program has grown a lot this year.” 

This year, there are 29 athletes on the roster. The program has grown enough to even include conversation of a junior varsity team.  

When asked about having a JV lacrosse team, Hutner said, “I love it, personally. I think it’s a really good idea to get girls that maybe still need more practice.” She also added, “It gives them something to look forward to and grow off of.” 

Goad added that, “There isn’t a lot of JV around here, but maybe other schools will start to build off of it. You never know.” 

Goad also said, “Having what is called a ‘lax IQ’ will be very beneficial to the team’s growth. Basically, just knowing what to do in every moment will help everyone and that comes with time. The more we work together, the better we will get.” 

CAPTIANS’ THOUGHTS on STATE of the TEAM 

Senior captain Addison Hellwig 

“With our season coming to an end, I believe our chemistry is at an all-time high! Individually, our team continues to put in the work to make a deep run going into the playoffs. Collectively, the vision we are trying to is right there ahead of us! 

Senior Ashlynn Hutner 

“The team chemistry has overall evolved this year. Going into the playoffs, all our girls are super excited and ready to win. The team is ready to work, and we all know what must be done in order to achieve our goals for this season.” 

Junior captain Izzy Coker 

“I think we have grown so much as individual players, but honestly even more as a team. Our progress has not been linear, but we continue to show up and better ourselves every day. This season has been an ongoing learning experience which makes me so excited for what’s to come as we go into playoffs. The team has constructed such a strong bond, and it will show as we continue with our season.” 

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Lucy Cardoso
Lucy Cardoso, Writer/ Photographer

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