Girls’ lacrosse preview: New conference, same goals for St. Dom’s

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The Saint Dominic Saints celebrate their 8-7 overtime victory over Morse in Auburn on Tuesday. 

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Area girls’ lacrosse teams are looking to build upon recent success and tournament experience to take their games to the next level.

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Four local teams tasted playoff success last spring. The Lewiston Blue Devils lost in the class A regional finals, Edward Little bowed out in the quarterfinal round against Mt. Ararat, and a young St. Dom’s team lost in the class B semifinals to state runner up Yarmouth, 13-6. Hebron Academy made it to the MAISAD finals before losing to Gould Academy.

Still a young team, St. Dom’s returns many of their players from last year that went 12-0 in the regular season while experiencing no key losses. Reaching the playoffs again this year is their goal and a move to the Western Maine Conference could prove challenging.

“The WMC high school programs are generally stronger than most of those we played against last year. This is mostly because their athletes have been playing together longer due to established town and recreational leagues. We hope to use this higher level of competition to further develop our skills and field play to prepare us for a more successful run in the playoffs this year,” St. Dom’s coach Leslie Klenk said.

Junior Maddy Leslie will return to anchor the defense and provide some leadership for the Saints. Sophomores Caroline Gastonguay and Kristina Cornelio will lead the offense. St. Dom’s also benefits from having a number of their girls just come off a successful girls’ hockey state championship.

“The girls that played hockey are strong, aggressive, and tenacious. They move quickly and are to place the ball well in the net. Their speed is also crucial to the success of our high pressure defense. We use this style of defense against our opponents as they try to move the ball through the midfield and into our defensive end,” Klenk said.

Lewiston comes into the season with a lot of newcomers but will look to their returning players to build upon their loss to eventual state champion Messalonskee. After losing Kristina Blais and Olivia Bergeron to graduation, the Blue Devils are still looking to see who will score for them.

“There are still questions as to who will be the top scorers after Blais and Bergeron graduated,” first-year coach Brant Remington said.

With strong desire to go deep into the playoffs, they will look for some leadership from their returning seniors, Morgan Eliasen, Dacia Bail, Hannah Dickinson, Julia St. Laurent, and Sasha Leclair.

Edward Little went 5-7 last season but will return a solid core this season that will provide leadership roles on all areas of the field. Seniors Haley Frohlich, Kaylee Jipson, and Rianna Roewer will work the offensive side while Tyme Finnerty will anchor the defense and Mariah Vaillancourt returns in net.

Hebron Academy returns a solid core of seniors and juniors and have filled key positions with newcomers. Led by senior midfielder Lizz McKinnon and junior Sophia Castriotta, the Lumberjacks will once again compete for a conference title. 

The Oxford Hills girls’ team has a good mixture of both newcomers and returning players. Seniors Hannah Hartnett, Morgan Richardson, Emily Lathrop, Jayra Bray, and Arianna Greene will provide leadership for the Vikings. Freshmen Megan Godbout, Maggie Hartnett, Jade Smedberg, Marissa Paine, and Emily Hatch will provide a youth movement for Oxford Hills as the teams’ newcomers.

“We are looking forward to a good season. We have 37 members this year. Many returners and even more exciting are some incoming players who had experience for the first time at the middle school level,” Viking coach Jamiee Smith said. “The team is working hard on their conditioning along with team offensive and defensive skills each day.”

Emma Theriault of Saint Dominic Academy scores against Morse goalie Zenaide McCarthy to put the Saints up 7-6 in Auburn on Tuesday. 

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