Wheaton Girls Lacrosse Opens Season on Winning Note
The team's prospects are looking up this season though, as the Knights opened their 2016 season with an 8-6 victory over Northwood behind three goals from Heven Haile and two from Mariam Alli. It was a dream start for head coach Alex Helberg, who has coached a lot of his players for the field hockey team in the fall, but is entering his first season with the lacrosse program.
"Starting the season off with that win helps boost morale and the girls are now hungry at practice. I'm always telling them that if we work hard and stay dedicated, we will create respect for our team in the county," Helberg said. "Winning will come with that dedication."
Dedication is something Helberg hopes his team will continue to show as the season goes on. Most teams in Montgomery County have players on their roster who have played the sport since elementary school, and the very best have girls who play throughout the year on club teams. Wheaton doesn't have that at their disposal, with Helberg saying most girls on his team didn't start playing until ninth grade.
That doesn't mean the Knights don't have talented players on their roster though. Haile and Alli, two of the team's captains, are expected to be the team's goalscorers and primary threats on offense. Sam Jacobson also had an excellent start to the season as the team's goalkeeper, making multiple saves. The team also got the win without the team's other captain, Melissa Sanchez, who was out injured. When she returns, Sanchez is expected to be a key member of the team as well.
Put all the pieces together and the Knights expect to be a well-rounded unit that can compete.
"Our strength is how hard we work. Our girls push the tempo and never quit. This is something we have worked on since the beginning of the season," Helberg said. "Hard work and commitment are keys for our success and it is evident on the field."
Looking ahead, Helberg is hoping the team can improve upon the previous two seasons by recording more than two wins. Victories against Wheaton's main rivals Kennedy and Einstein would also do wonders for the program. More than anything, Helberg hopes his players gain confidence in their lacrosse playing and begin to earn a good reputation around Montgomery County.
If their first game is any indication, the Knights are well on their way to achieving those goals.
"Everyone knows who the cream of the crop is in the county, and I just want my girls to know that by the time the game ends when we play them, the opposing team will know what Wheaton is all about and hopefully we will have earned their respect," Helberg said.
|March 23rd, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|