BY CHASE FUSCO
The defending GMC champion girl’s lacrosse team kicks off its season today at 4pm at Geick Park against Holmdel. The team finished last season with a 15-4 overall record and 9-4 in the GMC.
The team hopes their experience will help them repeat their success. “This year we’re defending GMC champs, with a bunch of experienced girls returning, but that comes with a tougher schedule, so it should be a great, challenging season for us,” said Junior Gabrielle Walker.
Senior goalie Joey Grotkopf, who contributed 77 saves last season as the starting goalie, echoed Walker’s high expectations. “I’m very excited for this season. Last year we won GMCs and I’m hoping we can do it again this season.”
The fact that most of last year’s team returns this season with even more experience should set the team up to excel again. “The difference from last year isn’t too drastic, but we did lose 3 starting seniors. Other than that, we have a great group with tons of experience playing against tougher teams this year,” said Walker.
The players hope the friendships created on and off the field translates to working together well in their games. “Our team is going to be a lot closer, emotionally closer. We are bonding a lot more,” said midfielder Brooke Buckley.
Another year of playing together should help the players work cohesively on the field. “We have an experienced group of girls, and we have all grown to be very close friends, which helps on the field,” said junior midfielder Jenna Scopellite.
Grotkopf, who helped the defense hole 8 out of 19 opponents to one or fewer goals last season, stresses the importance of teamwork. “Our defense works so well together, and it should be hard for other teams to get easy shots off. It’s important for me to communicate with my team, especially with my defense, so they know what girls to cover and where the ball is, so we can all work together to not let the other team score,” said Grotkopf.
The team looks a little different without graduated senior and top scorer Ella Sblano. “This season we don’t have a main goal scorer, instead goals happen from a variety of our girls like Brooke Buckley, Jules Segura, Gabby Walker, and Jada Garcia,” said Grotkopf.
Head Coach Steven Gajewski focuses more on what the team can control rather than the outcome. “Our goal is to get better as the season goes on and try to be a better team at the end of the season than we are now,” said Gajewski.
The realization of their hard work begins today at Geick Park, so please come out to support the team.
Posted on 3/30/22
Photos by Chase Fusco