Warriors Playing Quality Lacrosse with 8-0 Record
The Valley Regional girls’ lacrosse team couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2022 season. After winning just four games in 2021, the Warriors are sporting a record of 8-0 this year and have won six out of their eight contests by 10 goals or more.
Valley continued its strong start to the season by notching three victories last week. The Warriors earned wins over Old Saybrook, Cromwell, and Haddam-Killingworth to stay perfect on the campaign.
“We are progressing. I really felt that we had all the pieces necessary to be a successful team this year, but I would say that we have really progressed as a complete unit,” Head Coach Randy Netsch said. “The team has really come together, and they believe in each other and themselves.”
In its first game of the week, Valley Regional played host to Old Saybrook and came away with a 13-11 victory on April 26. Senior Emi Bisson led the Warriors by scoring 6 goals, while senior Leah Frantz and freshman Lilly Lavigne both scored 3 goals. Sophomore Rowan Pilon also scored a goal for Valley in the win.
“I was proud of the team versus Old Saybrook. It was a close competitive game and, each time they scored, we regrouped and kept working for good scoring opportunities,” said Netsch. “We could have been a little better with our time management in the final minutes of the game, but we still came away with an important win.”
Two days later, the Warriors traveled to Cromwell and earned a 24-7 victory versus the Panthers. Bisson led the charge with 10 goals and 2 assists in the contest. Pilon and Lavigne scored 6 and 5 goals, respectively, for the Warriors. Frantz, senior Madison Neviaser, and sophomore Olivia Cunningham added 1 goal apiece for Coach Netsch’s squad.
“We are very strong offensively this year. As a result of that, we sometimes try to force passes into heavy traffic in the eight,” Netsch said. “With the Cromwell game, we improved on our transitions through the midfield despite their strong, smothering defense.”
Valley finished its week by claiming an 11-7 win at Haddam-Killingworth on April 30. Junior goalkeeper Maizy Libby earned her third victory in net on the week. Pilon netted 4 goals, and Bisson had 3 goals for the Warriors. Senior Salmi Miller and Nevaiser both scored 2 goals.
“It was a tough grind of a game. H-K is very good with a strong defense and fast attackers,” said Coach Netsch. “I’m proud of the team how they were able to pull out another win.”
Valley is led being led by four captains this season. The Warriors’ senior captains are Bisson, Margaret Jacaruso, and Grace Haskins, while Reagan Doyon is serving as a junior captain for the team. Coach Netsch said that each one of his captains is providing exemplary leadership.
“I expect them to be the leaders on and off the field that they have been up to now,” said Netsch. “They are excellent examples to the rest of the team of what one can accomplish with hard work and dedication.”
Along with strong leadership from his captains, Coach Netsch is looking for constant improvement from everyone on the Warriors’ roster as the 2022 season unfolds. As long as his players work hard every day, that’s all Valley’s coach can ask for.
“I’m sure there are things I can improve on, but I believe everyone can and should be trying to improve themselves as individuals all the time,” said Netsch. “As a coach, you are always trying to motivate players to work on their skills to improve their game for themselves and their team.”
Valley recorded one of its biggest wins in recent memory when the Warriors notched a 15-4 victory at North Branford on April 21. Coach Netsch felt proud of his team for defeating the three-time defending Shoreline Conference champions in that contest.
“The favorite moment this season would be how well we played in the game against North Branford,” Netsch said “We worked very hard up and down the field, and I was really proud of our defensive effort.”
Valley’s roster for the 2022 season features senior captains Emi Bisson, Margaret Jacaruso, and Grace Haskins; seniors Leah Frantz, Jordan Harris, Sage Lepore, Salmi Miller, Madison Neviaser, and team manager Caroline Haskins; junior captain Reagan Doyon; juniors Grace Abderhalden, Callie Breitenbach, Maizy Libby, Mykenzie Parker, Eileen Russell, Allison Safran, and Vanessa Taylor; sophomores Olivia Cunningham and Rowan Pilon; and freshmen Lilly Bragdon, Lilly Lavigne, Grace Lunz, Grace Matute-Ishman, and Lucy Resnisky.
“My hope is that we continue to work hard every day as a team,” said Coach Netsch. “I want them to help each other be successful.”