Taking the Title: Girls Lacrosse 2017


Hazel McLain

Gossipping about upcoming spring break plans and the latest science homework fills the air between the girls on the Shawnee Mission lacrosse team running back and forth for long distance throws. If they stop taking practice seriously, they’ll hear the familiar “Stop screwing around or we’re going to run,” from their coach. Immediately, the girls refocus and turn their attention back to their drills. 

Coming off of a championship win during the 2015 season, the SM girls’ lacrosse team felt invincible. And because of this, the following year, they didn’t take it as seriously. Skipped practices and laid back attitudes led to the team taking fourth at championships. Now, they were going to do whatever necessary to get back to the top. 

The atmosphere of the team had changed. Instead of being a place to joke around with friends, it became a place for dedication and hard work. Laps were given out left and right. Talking during practice; run. Hit the goalie; run. There would be no more freebies. Everyone had to pull their weight. 

“It’ll be a working-hard kind of fun experience which is what we need,” senior Sabina Skolnick said. “I think that the fun will come from the success from working hard and having good commitment to the team and putting in time beforehand.” 

Skolnick felt part of last year’s problems came from a lack of leadership. With only one senior captain on the team who missed her own senior night, no one stepped up and took charge. Players were left to do whatever they thought was acceptable. 

As a start to fix the attendance problem, a new motto was implemented: commitment. It was created as a way to inspire the girls and bring a new viewpoint to the team. As inspiration, the new motto reminded the girls that they were working to win back the championship trophy. 

“I think our expectations have changed a lot coming off of a win and then not doing as well the [next] year,” Skolnick said. “This is going to be the year that we really take what we’ve dreamed about for over a year now.” 

Even though lacrosse had become more serious, most players weren’t scared off. Sophomore Emily Fey played the sport as a place to meet new people from other schools and still work to improve her skills. 

“Our team is able to have that fun part of it but also at practice, we get down to business and we are able to focus and really improve our skills and plays,” Fey said. 

By finding the right balance between hard work and having fun, the team would be more likely to reclaim their championship title. They would make it, even if it took more sets of pushups and sprints than they would like.