Pine-Richland girls lacrosse aims to stay focused for playoff run
Friday, May 4, 2018 | 11:00 PM
The ram and the goat might be different animals, but as far as coach Brittany Adams and her Pine-Richland girls lacrosse team are concerned, the two bovine creatures seem close enough to one another.
As a sort of talisman, the Rams (12-1, 8-1) have been passing around a goat figurine all season. After each game, the goat is awarded to another player in recognition of her efforts or contributions during a contest.
In this case, the goat is meant to represent the acronym Greatest Of All Time, but it doesn't hurt that the animal also vaguely resembles the team's mascot.
“We try and do an MVP of the game each game, and we give them an actual figurine of a goat. We put it on our team's social media account, and the player is required to carry around the goat for however many days until our next game,” Adams said.
“It was just a good recognition for various reasons as to why players deserve to earn the goat for each game. It could be a specific play in the game. It could be for a stat or for positive encouragement that was useful. I think the girls have been receptive and have enjoyed it with a little pride.”
While the goat figurine probably hasn't been the deciding factor in many of the team's outcomes, it has represented an important part of the defending WPIAL Class AAA champions' collective mentality.
Pine-Richland isn't short on experience, and that's showed as the team has cruised to a 12-1 overall record. Adams said her team has established a certain level of maturity. Now, the group's ability to stay fresh and focused has become a priority as the stakes get higher leading up playoffs.
“They really have put a lot of centering focus on just having fun playing the sport. Yes, they're obviously competitive, but that can lead to getting over-stressed when it comes to playing so many tight games with the outcome in the balance,” Adams said.
“They just don't lose sight of loving the game. And we don't want them to. They do what they need to do on the field, but we want them to continue enjoying the sport. It builds recognition amongst players and keeps them loose.”
With the regular season winding down and the WPIAL playoffs on the horizon, the Rams are hoping they will have the opportunity to pass their goat around a few more times.
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.