Young Churchill Girls Lacrosse Begins Season 4-1

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Pictures courtesy of John Shimbukuru

2016 was a standout season for Chuchill girls lacrosse.

The Bulldogs, led by a large and talented senior class, finished the year 12-3, winning the MPSSAA 4A/3A West championship along the way. Chuchill's campaign ended in the state semifinal round against Leonardtown in a 17-10 defeat.

With losing six senior starters and only have two senior starters this season, it wouldn't be surprising if Churchill started 2017 slowly. That hasn't been the case- after losing its opener to Fallston, Chuchill has won four straight games and outscored opponents 67-24.

"This year's group is an extremely talented young team, which is super exciting for the future of the program," head coach Jamie Frank said. "The new additions come with terrific depth of lacrosse knowledge and experience. This group is awesome to coach and fun to watch- we don't have a singular star out there and every game they challenge each other to rise to the occasion."

Indeed, when the team's key players are listed it's clear to see that Churchill gets contributions from all four classes.

Starting with the oldest, senior captain Zoe Byington has started the year strongly with 11 goals and 11 assists. Fellow captain Faith Kean, a junior, has also been a key cog in Churchill's system, coming up with 54 draw controls in four games.

The Bulldogs' sophomore class has gotten off to a scintillating start this season. Lizzie Hsu leads the team with 33 goals, while also chipping in seven assists. Nine of Hsu's goals came in the team's 14-7 victory against Walter Johnson. Hsu's classmate Emily Feigen has been excellent between the pipes for Churchill, registering 43 saves this season, including 20 against Fallston.

The group is rounded out by freshman Leah Rubino, who has made a tremendous impact in her first few high school games. Rubino has 18 goals, eight assists, 18 ground balls and 12 takeaways.

"Each of our games has had a different set of leading scorers, never repeating," Frank said. "I can't ask for more than them going out there and playing for each other. We have had almost as many assists as goals."

Churchill will need to continue to get contributions from multiple places as the Bulldogs' schedule will remain difficult after spring break. First up for the Bulldogs is regional rival Whitman, with matches against Damascus and Arundel also sticking out on the schedule.

Though it'll be tough, Frank is hoping the group will draw confidence from the team's 16-11 loss against Fallston, a group the coach referred to as the toughest competition Churchill has seen in two years.

"Fallston is super talented, fast and aggressive. We struggled with fouls that game and it being our first after a week of indoor practices due to snow definitely challenged us," Frank said. "We wound up playing man down for almost 37 minutes of the game. So to lose by five a man down against that team didn't seem like a loss to us. The girls stepped up, stopped fouling and came back from a significant deficit."

It's that resolve Frank hopes her young team will continue to carry with them. If the group continues to play together the Bulldogs could find themselves in the midst of another special season.

"The girls always set their own personal goals for each game, and as a team we hope that each one of them works hard and persists to help the whole team play the best lacrosse possible," Frank said. "The longer we can do that, the more our successes lead us to postseason play. The longer our season lasts the more these girls can continue to play for each other and leave everything on the field."
April 12th, 2017By: Wick Eisenberg

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