Published in the April 6, 2017 edition


Samantha Whitney is back for her third season as head coach of the North Reading High girls lacrosse team. Last spring, the Hornets struggled finishing 3-13 overall. Five seniors from that squad graduated but 16 veterans returned when training camp opened on March 20th.

 Five of the players back are seniors. Midfielder Gabby Lanzaro and attacker Erin Hunter are this year’s co-captains. Cynthia Walsh (midfielder), Chloe Gladu (defenseman), and Emily Dwyer (defenseman), are the three other 12th-graders back.

 McKayla Murphy (attack), Morgan Lally (attack- midfielder), Kylie Ford (goalie) and Noel Riley (defenseman) are the four juniors back.

 “We got outside to practice 75 percent of the time,” said Whitley, about the pre-season which featured some poor weather.

 The Hornets also played in a jamboree last Saturday hosted by Malden High.

 North Reading is slated to play 17 regular-season games this spring and they opened the 2017 campaign on Monday at Mystic Valley in Malden.

 In that game, a solid comeback effort came up just short as the Hornets were nipped, 16-15.

 “The game showed we have a lot of depth and we were consistent on offense,” said Whitney. “On defense, we have to work on our double teaming.”

 The Eagles raced out to a, 9-4, halftime lead. However, the Hornets fought back and scored with 1:52 left in the game to cut the lead to one. However, the host were able to hold on the rest of the way.

 Lanzaro, Hunter and sophomore midfielder, Casey McAulisse, led the offense against the Eagles while Ford made 12 saves in net.

 Looking at the Cape Ann League, Whitney feels that Masconomet and Manchester-Essex will be the teams to beat this year.

 Next Monday, the Hornets play another non-league game as they host Malden. The next day, they play their CAL opener at Triton. Both game will start at 3:45 pm.