By Chris Hagan
Review Staff Writer
The beginning of Lake Orion girls’ varsity lacrosse season was viewed as a lead-in to much tougher things to come.
Before Monday’s nail-biter victory of Gross Pointe North, the team crushed their prior four opponents by more than nine points each time.
In getting to closer to OAA Red competition, head coach Ronnie Booth told her team that their schedule was going to get tougher and defending their undefeated record would be increasingly more difficult.
“I’ve told the girls that these first handful of games are going to kind of a warm up to when we get to the competitive games,” Booth said. “We play Gross Pointe North every year and it’s always a different game every year.”
Booth was spot on in her competition forecast has Lake Orion won, 20-17, over the Lady Norsemen in overtime.
Lake Orion was down 10-11 after the first quarter but evened the score at 17-17 at the half. The lady Dragons scored three unanswered goals giving them the win and continuing their undefeated record.
“This whole season I’m going to be reminding them that it’s not going to be a cakewalk once we get into the OAA Red games,” she said. “I tell them to play their game and not let another team dictate the style and the momentum. You have to play smart.”
This year 14 juniors make up the majority of the 21 girl team including Oxford transfer Abby Barnewold and Gwyneth Brodbeck, two of the team’s top scorers. Also contributing mightily are seniors Darcy Muns and Rachel Klebba.
Many of Booth’s players have been in Lake Orion’s lacrosse program since middle school. She says they’ve been able to develop a strong camaraderie that benefits the team on and off the field.
“I think it’s a unique advantage all these girls have together and I see in practice that they’re such good friends off the field, too,” Booth said. “I really think it goes back to playing on the first middle team we ever had.
“They learned the game at the same time. They’ve grown up together in the sport. It’s been a core group of six girls since middle school.”
She added that it’s been her juniors and seniors who have stepped up and taken on a leadership role.
It’s something that has continued to drive high team morale and echo the goals of the coaching staff.
“So far a lot of the seniors and the experienced juniors have really taken over and led the team on the field because I can only do so much on the sideline,” she said. “All of my seniors are leaders and they all bring something so much different to the table than the next girl.”
By Chris Hagan