Team Chemistry has Carver Girls Lacrosse Off to Winning Start
To understand how Carver's girls lacrosse team in Baltimore County has been able to succeed, one should look at the team's practices.
Practices are admittedly a little more difficult for head coach Carrie Voycheck than for the average coach. The majority of Carver's players have significant lacrosse experience, but a good portion of the group are new to the sport and some are even new to sports in general. It's tough for Voycheck to ensure that each of her players are challenged and improving, while at the same time promoting the team's growth.
While the practices themselves can be challenging, how the team responds to having teammates with varying degrees of skill shows why the team has enjoyed a strong start.
"The team has exceptional chemistry and the experienced players are very patient and great at teaching the newbies," Voycheck said. "We all celebrate each other's personal victories together, no matter how big or how small."
That camaraderie has spilled over from the practice field to games. Carver is 4-1 this season, outscoring opponents 60-31. Since losing to Patapsco 10-7 on Mar. 27, a game in which Carver had a five goal lead at one point, the Wildcats have beaten their opponents by a combined score of 33-10.
Voycheck points to the team's defense and midfield when asked about Carver's strengths. The group does a great job of creating turnovers and jumping into its transition game. The unit has been anchored by Mia D, an All-County selection in 2016, and Michelina D, an All-Division selection in 2016. In goal, Ella A. was also an All-Division last season, and has 30 saves this season.
On offense, the majority of the scoring has come from a trio of players who have combined to score 45 goals. Jacqui T. leads the way with 18 goals, while Abby L. has 17. Maggie W. rounds out the group with 10 goals.
"We do not rely on a single star player but rather expect everyone to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. So far, in the first five games of the season, ten different players have scored," Voycheck said. "Our ability to distribute the ball forces our opponents to play good and honest defense against us."
Looking ahead, Carver will need that balance if the Wildcats want to take their season further than in 2016.
Carver thrived in 2016, finishing 7-5 and earning the number one overall seed in the team's section of the MPSSAA 2A/1A South region for the state playoffs. The Wildcats lost to Pikesville in the sectional final.
The teams meet again on April 20, and it's a contest that Carver is excited for.
"They are one of our strongest opponents and biggest rivals," Voycheck said. "We always look forward to the challenge and the girls usually have friends or siblings on their team."
It looks to be the marquee match-up in what promises to be an exciting season for Carver girls lacrosse.
"We would like to maintain our winning record and I know the girls would love to beat Pikesville," Voycheck said. "More importantly, we just want to have fun and enjoy playing together. The season goes by so quickly and we will all be sad to say good-bye to all of our seniors."
|April 5th, 2017||By: Wick Eisenberg|