THE NRHS girls’ lacrosse team returns plenty of talented players including Brianne Slatterty, one of six senior captains for the Hornets this season along with Jenna DiNapoli, Mia Pittore, Riley Garrity, Faith Newton and Ali Labb. (File Photo)


NORTH READING — Last season, the North Reading High girls’ lacrosse team finished at 11-10 overall as they lost, 12-8, at Pembroke in the MIAA Division 3 Round of 32 state tournament. In the Cape Ann League, they were 3-9 as they finished in fourth place in the CAL Kinney Division.

There were only two seniors on that team, attackers Audrey Buckley and Megan Slattery.

This spring, fifth-year head coach Matt Costello welcomed back 13 veterans when practice started on March 20. Two of the players back were league all-stars, Brianne Slattery and Jenna DiNapoli, who are both captains this year. Slattery, a senior attacker-midfielder, had 58 goals and 13 assists for 71 points last year. She had 107 draw controls, 23 ground balls and caused 35 turnovers.

DiNapoli was a CAL Second-Team All-Star as the midfielder-goalie had 18 goals and five assists for 23 points. She had 18 draw controls, 33 ground balls and caused 31 turnovers.

In the nine games she played goalie, DiNapoli made 52 saves as she recorded four wins.

The other four captains are Mia Pittore (attacker), Riley Garrity (defenseman), Faith Newton (midfielder- attacker) and Ali Labb (defenseman).

Kaitlyn Supple (goalie) and Olivia Diorio (attacker) are the two juniors back while Callie MacLellan (midfielder-attacker) and Lindsay Rosenthal (midfielder- defenseman) are the two 10th-graders returning.

“The energy has been good and we have been able to create bonds,” said Costello, about the first week of practice. “We have a veteran team and the seniors have really stepped up.”

On March 26, the team went to North Andover High to play in a play-day against several teams in mini-games. The Hornets then played their final scrimmage on March 28 as they hosted Peabody.

North Reading will play an 18-game regular-season schedule with six non-league games and 12 CAL contests.

Costello feels that Pentucket and Newburyport will be the teams to beat in the CAL Kinney this spring.

North Reading opens up the 2023 campaign on March 31 with a non-league game as they host Shawsheen Tech at 4:15 p.m. The first league game is April 3 as they host Triton at 4:15 p.m. They then face rival Lynnfield at home on Apr. 5 with that game also starting at 4:15 p.m. to end the three-game home stand.