Panthers Junior Girls Are County Lax Champs

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The next wave of Pasadena girls lacrosse players finished their youth careers with a county championship.

The Panthers junior girls lacrosse team went 12-0 this spring and capped its season with an 8-7 overtime win over General’s Highway at Chesapeake High School on May 19 to win the Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks Junior C county championship.

Addison Widmer scored the tying goal in the closing seconds of regulation to send the county final to overtime, and she assisted the game-winning score by Natalie Forman that lifted the Panthers to sudden victory and the championship.

Head coach Sonny Jones said the title was a culmination of a season’s worth of hard work as the group sought to bridge the divide between youth and high school lacrosse by focusing on high school-level fundamental skills and advanced offensive and defensive teamwork.

“I told them, ‘We’re going to set the bar high, these are the same plays the varsity girls are running,’ and they rose to the occasion,” said Jones, who has coached the varsity girls lacrosse program at Chesapeake High School for four years. “I thought the girls played hard this year. I thought they learned a lot. Obviously I’m proud of them that they went undefeated and won their county championship game. It was a hot day, and they were kind of sapped, but they hung in there, and I was really proud of them for that.”

The team of Widmer, Forman, Brynn Currier, Kaila Ansted, Lillian Barlieb, Ava Grant, Jordan Hood, Chloe Klein, Elaina LaSanta, Abbey McCarthy, Delaney Miller, Molly Parker, Lillian Patrick, Sydney Thatcher, Bridgette Van Valkenburgh, Abbey Warner and Mikaela Warren went 2-0 in the six-team playoff tournament as the league’s No. 1 seed.

Currier, a defender, was named the championship game’s Most Valuable Player.

“Brynn is fast and fierce, a player we can count on to stop a drive,” said coach Lois Warner of Currier. “Brynn won’t quit.”

Grant and Miller split time as the team’s goalies.

Abbey Warner was the team’s recipient of the Christopher Schultz Award and scholarship as the player who most embodies qualities of leadership, a love of lacrosse and a love of life. Warner has played eight years of Panthers/CYLA lacrosse in addition to eight years of county field hockey and two years of county basketball while maintaining honor roll status at Bodkin Elementary and Chesapeake Bay Middle School. Warner scored 25 goals and recorded 21 assists for the 12-0 Panthers.

Jones said the focus of developing off-hand ability, learning offensive plays and deploying defensive sets was the perfect runway for high school success.

“Once we get everybody involved and everybody knows what their job is and you learn how to execute the play right, you get multiple choices for shots,” said Jones. “So that worked well for us, and that’s how we were able to engage the entire team.”

Coach Warner is excited to send the girls to high school with a strong base of fundamentals and a great experience playing youth lacrosse with the Panthers.

“It has been a pleasure coaching these young ladies over the years,” she said. “They are so much fun!”

 

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