Undefeated Ward Melville has a target on its back, and the girls lacrosse team’s 17-4 crushing of Smithtown West May 8 only made it larger.
“Everyone is out to get us,” Ward Melville head coach Kerri Kilkenny said. “I think this was probably one of our best games that we’ve played this season — connecting every pass, strong in transition, looking for each other. They were looking one step ahead. We knew where everyone was going to be and a good majority of our goals were assisted, which shows how well we’ve jelled and come together as a team.”
Senior Hannah Lorenzen scored three of the first five goals for the Patriots, who continued to win draw after draw to gain crucial time of possession against the No. 3 Bulls.
“They just passed to me and I was able to finish,” Lorenzen said. “I think the draw is a big part of it. We get possession and it leads to more opportunities to score.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Samantha Tarpey’s saves in the first half also played a large role in the team’s success.
“Making those saves keeps me going and my confidence up,” she said. “It keeps team morale high.”
As the team dominated through the final minutes of the first half, three other Patriots got on the board, and Lorenzen added her fourth goal of the game, before Smithtown West scored three straight.
Ward Melville sophomore Alexis Reinhardt closed out the half with the final goal to put her team up 10-3.
“We felt it was going to be a bit of a tougher matchup,” Kilkenny said. “I’m not downplaying my kids’ skills at all, because I feel when they play together they’re unstoppable. We controlled every step of this game, and I’m proud of them for that.”
With 13 players on the score sheet — Reinhardt, Shannon Berry and Shannon Brazier scoring two goals each — the chemistry between the team that put up 17 goals and 10 assists seems unmatched.
“We don’t have a few key players — our team is deep. We can all score; we can all play,” Lorenzen said. “We worked a lot on clearing and having people drive through and on our feeds off the draw. We moved the ball well in practice.”
Lorenzen is a part of six sets of sisters on the team, but to the senior, the entire team is her family.
“I think having those bonds and those connections help — we trust each other and believe in each other and the sisterly intuition is there,” she said. “But we all feel like sisters.”
Kilkenny said her team is right where it needs to be, and with its 15th straight win, she’s excited to see where the Patriots go.
“You don’t want to peak too soon, but we’re continuing that high level of play— the timing of this game is great,” she said. “We’re certainly enjoying the ride, but we keep ourselves down to Earth. They need to play each game like it could be their last.”
Lorenzen doesn’t see the season ending any time soon.
“We feel we have a little bit of an edge,” she said. “We might have a target on our back, but we can take the competition.”