Girls Lacrosse Continues to Build with Another Developing Season

All photos by Ryan Coggswell.

It was a year of development for a young Golden Tornado girls lacrosse team, but it did not go without its successes. Despite a rough 3-12 record heading into Senior Night, this team — one that involves many people that have never picked up a lacrosse stick before — has shown great signs of improvement. 

As said before, the team is extremely young; the only senior on the active roster is Ava Conroy. Head Coach Devon Pattershall is not worried about that, saying, “One of the biggest strengths for the team right now is that we have a large number of amazing girls playing this year, with only one senior, which allows for a lot of growth of the team and players’ skills.” 

Senior Ava Conroy shoves a Medford player out of bounds.

Another great benefit of having a young team is that “the influx of new players also helps with bringing new energy to the team in a positive way. It seems like it was just what we needed this year.”

Before the game began, Malden honored all seniors in the game, including the Medford players. They gave flowers to all seven Mustang seniors before cheering on the lone Tornado, Ava Conroy. It was a bit staggering to see the large difference in age between the two sides, which may have shown in Malden’s 17-7 loss to them earlier in the season.

The team celebrates their lone senior, Ava Conroy, before the game.

When the first face off commenced, it seemed clear that Medford had a much stronger team. As soon as they earned possession, the team bolted down the field into the Tornado zone. In under two minutes, Malden already found themselves down a goal. The Mustangs continued to dominate their next attack but lost the ball. The Tornados took it back and Malden sophomore Makenzie Jenkins capitalized on the opportunity to tie the game.

Still, Medford was controlling the time of possession and rattled off three consecutive scores, one being within 20 seconds of the face off. The Malden coaching staff was livid about the lack of communication defensively. They used that criticism as fuel, however, and sophomores Jeslyn San and Yanalyz Huynh scored to close the gap back to 4-3. 

While the Mustangs took two back quickly, San would score four more goals before the end of the half. By the time halftime reached, Medford only had an 8-7 lead which was a lot closer than previous results would have shown.

Four-goal Sophomore Makenzie Jenkins striding down the field.

After the break, San put two more goals on her stat line to give the Tornados a 9-8 advantage. All of a sudden, it felt as if the momentum was sitting in Malden’s lap. The time of possession swung into the opposite direction and it showed in the scoring. Jenkins scored three goals in a row to bring the lead to 12-8, the largest deficit of the game. San added another as well, making it a five point advantage with just six minutes left in the game.

Fans were excited as they finally got to witness Malden play at their best. While the Mustangs would tack on three more before the end of the game, the ball sailed out of bounds as the final whistle sounded and the Tornados took their fourth victory of the season 13-11 on senior night.

Only three players scored goals for Malden on the day, with San taking a whopping eight of them while Jenkins earned a solid four. Huynh scored the other goal.

Sophomore Jeslyn San, who led the team with eight goals, cradles the ball.

“What we have been for all season came out today,” Jenkins said, excitedly. “Medford is a solid team but we hung with them all game and took it home.”

Smiles and laughter were plentiful among the girls after the game, which was definitely earned. All of their hard work that Pattershall spoke about finally came through to take down a solid Greater Boston League opponent.

They will go on the road to Somerville, Winthrop, and Mystic Valley before closing their season out on Memorial Day. Regardless of their record, the girls lacrosse team has improved and is very proud of this season’s accomplishments.

A Medford player defends Sophomore Makenzie Jenkins.

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