Quaker Valley girls lacrosse again has high expectations

Saturday, April 14, 2018 | 12:54 AM

The Quaker Valley girls lacrosse team (3-1 overall, 2-1 in Section 2-AA) is rebuilding but aiming high.

“Our goals are always to try to have an undefeated season and win (the) state championship,” Quakers coach Nellie Kraus said. “It would be great to get that far again.

“The girls are mixing well. We have added three freshmen, and everyone is having a great time so far.”

The Quakers must replace Rachel Bould, who is competing at midfield for Central Michigan.

Junior captain Katherine Blaugrund and senior captain Abby Smith are among returning players. Blaugrund has more than 80 career goals and Smith 75-plus.

Blaugrund said she wants to be a game changer.

“Whether it be winning draws, scoring goals or boosting team morale, I want to make sure I can perform to the best of my abilities,” Blaugrund said. “This goal has really pushed me through some of the colder games.”

Senior captain Annie Luptak and junior captain Olivia Lehman lead the defense. Contributing are seniors Rachel Rock (captain) and Laurie Delie and juniors Claire Nincke, Kaitlyn Murphy, Megan Harkins and Gabi Saladino.

Freshman Gina Atwood got off to an impressive start, posting three goals in her first varsity outing. Freshman Camden Kiggins also starts.

Junior goalie Alexa Otto made 15 saves in the first two games, both wins.

“One of our goals is to make it to WPIALs,” Lehman said. “We can do it if we put in the hard work and persistence.

“Short-term goals we've discussed have been related to individual games. For example, we've (been) talking about winning ground balls, limiting shots on goal or creating a certain (number) of turnovers.”

Rock said the Quakers have great chemistry.

“We have a lot of new girls playing new roles,” she said. “I'm excited to see how people rise to the occasion.

“We are already starting to feel like a family.”

Quaker Valley has made the WPIAL playoffs every season since 2012. In 2015, the Quakers earned the WPIAL Division I title and reached the PIAA semifinals.

“I would love to lead by example and show that even if you're not the most skilled player, you can overcome that with some hard work and tenacity, which is a word we used a lot my freshman year (in 2015),” Rock said.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.


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