Baltimore City College Girls Lacrosse Claims Fifth Straight City Title
Baltimore City College girls lacrosse has established itself as the premier public school program in Baltimore City.
The Knights finished this season 10-0, which was enough to capture their fifth straight city title. City hasn't lost to a Baltimore City opponent the past two seasons.
"All of our conversations to start the season were about getting better so that we could compete in the state playoffs, so this season hasn't been a surprise at all," head coach Sedrick Smith said. "It's been the result of the hard work and dedication the girls have shown over the past few years."
While the season was expected, it's still impressive considering how young City is this year.
The Knights have just one senior on the team, starting goalkeeper Ikyra Lane, who has developed into a strong player during her three years on the varsity. Other than Lane though, the Knights are comprised of younger girls, setting City up for more success in the future.
The duo of junior captain Jessica Morrell and sophomore Jo Schmollinger have led City's attack this season. Morrell has scored a team high 42 goals, and also chipped in eight assists. An aggressive and competitive player, Morrell's approach has a positive effect on the rest of her teammates.
Schmollinger has 27 goals and 18 assists this season. Smith credits Schmollinger with facilitating the team's offense. It's the ideal role for Schmollinger, whose excellent field vision and passing ability ensures that everyone on the offense gets involved.
Morrell and Schmollinger haven't been doing it all by themselves though. Twin sisters Anna and Simone Shafer have been a revelation in the midfield for City. Originally used in attack, Smith shifted both Shafer's back and it's paid immediate dividends.
"It's helped us immensely with ball control," Smith said. "They're incredible athletes and run the entire field for us, transitioning us from defense to offense."
As exciting as the team's dominance within Baltimore City has been, Smith wants his team to grow into being more competitive when facing other competition. Last year, the team topped Lansdowne in the first round of the MPSSAA playoffs before falling to Hereford.
This year, Smith is hoping his team can take that next step and make a deep run in the postseason. There's been encouraging signs that this could be the Knights year to do it- the team learned a lot in a play day against more advanced teams like Arundel, Old Mill and Calvert.
City also beat Long Reach 12-8, its first win against a Howard County opponent since Smith started coaching six years ago. The team's defense, led by Carolyn Sacco and Caprice Hickson, had a great performance, and it was a morale boosting win for the squad.
"It really helped to validate the all of the hard work we've put in over the past two seasons," Smith said.
Commitment is a trademark of the City girls lacrosse team, not just on the field, but in the classroom as well. A lot of the girls on City's roster are full International Baccalaureate students, meaning they've had to juggle work on par with college courses in addition to playing lacrosse.
To Smith, that's what makes his group of players special.
"It's a testament to their hard work and great character," Smith said.
|May 6th, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|