SOUTHAMPTON – Entering a new season, most scholastic teams establish goals. For the Council Rock South girls lacrosse team, that task proved easy – improve on last year’s 2-15 overall record. The Golden Hawks have already done that and more!
Senior co-captain Sarah Womer aptly summed up the Golden Hawks’ objectives. ”Last year’s record was not very strong, so this year, we definitely wanted to have some basic improvements.”
Sarah, along with other seniors Mary Kate “M.K.” Simpson, Caroline McGovern, Dom Marino, and Chloe Wszlok, has helped the Hawks gain that desired improvement. They presently sport an overall 6-5 record. More importantly, they are 3-1 in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Division, only two games behind division leader Central Bucks South.
As one of the team’s leaders, Sarah couldn’t be prouder. “This year, we’ve been able to go beyond improvement and we’ve been winning lots of games. Our record has already tripled the number of wins and we’re only halfway through the season. We’ve already accomplished most of the goals we set for ourselves.”
The change was not instantaneous. The Golden Hawks experienced some growing pains as they lost their opening three games to Kennett Square, Hatboro-Horsham and Mount Saint Joseph.
Sarah admits that, “In the beginning of the season, it was a little tougher because we were all getting to know the necessary communication on the field. Once we started picking it up, it’s been amazing to watch the team grow and be successful, not just for some players but for everybody.
“Everyone has improved so much and they all know what they have to do on the field. That has been awesome to watch.”
For Sarah, the requisite team chemistry became most evident in the Hawks’ 10th game of the season against North Penn. “A key game came against North Penn on their senior night. We knew they were a very good team and we haven’t been able to beat them in years. We went in saying, ‘let’s just try our hardest and see what comes out of it.’ We ended up playing amazingly well. It all came together and we won 6-3. That was a crucial part of the season.”
The Golden Hawks are steadied in part by the play of their two offensive ‘quarterbacks,’ Sarah and Caroline McGovern. “I play midfield so I’m also back on defense. Whenever I move up the field, me and Caroline are usually the ones running the plays up top. We set the offense up and get them in different motions and plays.”
In essence, Sarah becomes an extension of the coaching staff. “The coaches call the plays some of the time. Their wish is that the people on the field are able to do it so it becomes more natural. They want us to see the field and know the plays to run and translate that to our teammates.”
The Hawks’ newly-formed team fluidity showed in their recent heartbreaking 8-7 overtime loss to Upper Moreland, which is currently in second place in the SOL American Division with a 4-1 record.
“That game was interesting because we had so many different opportunities. Throughout the whole game, we felt we could have come out with the win. It was a back and forth game. We just couldn’t pull it out in overtime.”
Sarah certainly contributed to the Hawks’ valiant effort, scoring in the closing minutes of regulation play. “At that point, we might have been tied or down one. Our coach said, ‘go to the goal every single time’ so I just went around the cage and was able to get it over the goalie’s stick.”
Sarah was joined in the scoring column by Caroline McGovern and Emily Keller with two goals apiece, and M.K. Simpson and Claudia Steinmetz with single tallies. The effort fell just short in what could have the Hawks’ seventh win in the last eight games.
“We felt a little defeated because we know we could have won that game. However, we want to move forward because we have some big games coming up.”
With four league games left on their schedule, the Golden Hawks are definitely in the hunt for some SOL gold.
TOP PHOTO: Council Rock South senior Caroline McGovern (5) scores despite tough Upper Moreland defense. (John Gleeson – 21st-Century Media)