It’s been a long time coming for girls lacrosse to return to high schools across Maryland.
Since COVID-19 and the ensuing pandemic shut down the 2020 spring sports calendar, teams and players have been chomping at the bit to get back.
Finally, on April 17, spring sports were allowed to practice once again.
“Coming back out, we were very hopeful for things to start back up again,” said Kaitlyn Fuller, Severna Park High School’s varsity lacrosse head coach. “We were a little nervous that it wouldn’t, but just very grateful and glad that we’re able to get out here now to make some stuff happen for this season.”
While the spring sports calendar in 2020 was canceled, Severna Park still had a massive advantage going into the summer as most of its team played together on club teams.
The spring season was lost, but that lost chemistry was made up for just a few months later.
“Getting used to playing with them before we can even step on a field was awesome,” senior midfielder/defender Kaila Stasulli said.
Stasulli, who officially signed her letter of intent to play for Jacksonville University this fall, is one of several X-factors to watch out for on this team, one of this season’s top 25 programs in the country according to US Lacrosse Magazine.
Five Falcons have committed to continuing their careers in college, including attacker Hailey Betch, who is looking to help continue Severna Park’s 2019 state championship dominance into 2021.
Betch, a St. Mary’s College commit, credits the spring league that most of the Falcons played in before the 2021 high school season to cut down on that potential early-season adjustment period.
“It was definitely a little difficult because last year, we didn’t get to play with these girls,” Betch said. “Jumping into games without practices was different, but I think it was good because we got to learn how everyone else played before the season and got to connect before tryouts.”
Severna Park dealt with the same problems as programs across the country as, essentially, there were two freshman classes with last year’s freshmen not getting a season on varsity.
Even with those roadblocks, this is one of the premier girls lacrosse programs in the state, and Fuller is excited to see this team out on the field.
“I think we’ve got tons of speed and endurance across the field: offense, midfield, defense,” Fuller said. “These girls really want to be out here, and I think they really understand what it means to have something taken away from them. Every day they’re out on the field, they’re very grateful, thankful, and it’s pretty much 100 percent from them every time.”
Above anything, there’s a collective sigh of relief and contained excitement that will be unleashed once May 7 rolls around and games are able to be played.
While it’s definitely made some people believe it when they see it in terms of this spring season, Fuller and Severna Park have been waiting for this since the 2020 season was canceled and they’re hungry to return to dominance in Anne Arundel County and the state.
“It was surreal to step back out onto the field again,” Fuller said. “We’re so thankful for this opportunity and I think for the coaching staff and the players, we’re going to do whatever we can to continue to have this opportunity.”
Severna Park opens its 2021 season at Broadneck High School on May 7 at 5:15pm.