Seahawks Ready for the Home Stretch
Catherine Larrow and the Guilford Seahawks are opting out of postseason play in the Dream League, but have still enjoyed a great season with victories in all six of their games to date. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Maggie Mandel (right) and the Seahawks claimed a 16-5 victory over North Haven in a Dream League North Division matchup last week. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Hannah Tillier and the Guilford Seahawks girls’ lacrosse team are boasting a record of 6-0 as they enter the final week of their campaign. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
The Guilford Seahawks girls’ lacrosse team has been turning in exceptional performances all summer long in the Dream League. While the Seahawks are not planning to participate in the playoffs, they are still looking forward to finishing the regular season strong when they play the final two contests of their campaign this week.
Guilford improved to 6-0 on the year by earning a 16-5 road win against North Haven in a Dream League North Division game on July 25. The Seahawks also raised their record to 4-0 in divisional play with the victory.
Head Coach Wendy Epke said that competing in the Dream League has been a fun experience for the Seahawks. With the season nearing its conclusion, Epke feels glad that some of her athletes are now looking at the opportunity to compete for their high school teams, following the release of the CIAC’s plan to play fall sports in 2020.
“We are having a lot of fun just getting to be together,” said Epke. “We are in our last week, though, and the kids are getting excited to restart school and get training for fall sports, as well. The CIAC plan is a relief to all the girls that fall sports have a good chance of occurring.”
The Seahawks haven been led by experienced players like attackers Catherine Larrow and Hannah Tillier, midfielder Maddie Epke, defender Maggie Mandel, and goalkeeper Sydney Widlitz throughout the summer. All five athletes were returning starters for Coach Epke with the girls’ lacrosse squad at Guilford High School. Epke is happy that her recently graduated seniors were able to have some semblance of a season.
“The girls have worked very hard this summer, but the focus for us has always been just to have fun, get to socialize as a team and, hopefully, give the seniors a small season that they unfortunately missed out on,” Epke said. “They were the returning varsity starters and did a great job setting the pace at practice and games, and sharing their knowledge of the game with all of the new players. We are looking forward to next spring.”
Larrow has been an integral player in the rise of Guilford girls’ lacrosse during the past few years. In her junior of high school, Larrow scored a single-season school record total of 78 goals on her way to earning All-SCC First Team and All-State honors, while helping Guilford claim its first outright conference title.
With her last two games in Guilford approaching, Larrow reflected upon what her experience as a lacrosse player in town means to her.
“Over the past four years, I have made some of the best friendships and memories of my life,” Larrow said. “I have loved developing as a player and as a person with this team helping me along the way. I will miss everyone and will always be cheering for Guilford.”
The Seahawks will conclude the 2020 season by playing a pair of games this week. Guilford faced the Branford Sting on Aug. 4 (after press time) and is hosting the Madison Mavericks for its Senior Night contest on Friday, Aug. 7.
When the regular season is done, the Dream League is scheduled to host two divisional tournaments and then one final championship game. However, the Seahawks have decided that they aren’t going to compete in the postseason.
“With us seniors leaving and everyone spending most of the summer home, we thought it was just best to go and let people appreciate the summer,” said Larrow.
As Guilford gears up for the home stretch, Coach Epke feels pleased with the way everything has played out for her team in the Dream League this year.
“It’s been a great season, and I’m happy that we were able to participate in the league,” Epke said.