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2019 GIRLS LACROSSE PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
West Forsyth's Lily Athey, right, is pressured by a North Forsyth defender on Thursday, March 8, 2018. - photo by Ben Hendren

Coach: Lindsey Burnell, first season

Last season: N/A

Key returners: N/A

Key newcomers: D Olivia Hill (Jr.), MF Lexi Kugelman (Jr.), A Tatum Weiss (Jr.), A Erin Murtha (Jr.), MF Lydia Williams (Fr.), MF Ella Claire Ray (So.), D Sarah Mitchell (Fr.)

What to know: Denmark drew its student body primarily from South Forsyth, and leading the first-year Danes' program is Lindsey Burnell, a South alum herself. The program is somewhat short on numbers and will only play varsity in 2019, but also has a handful of former War Eagles players to help it along. The Danes already have a 21-1 win over Norcross to their name.

Forsyth Central

Coach: Meagan McLeod, fifth season

Last season: 7-10

Key returners: A Ansley Balberde (Sr.), A Hailey Ririe (Jr.), MF Lauren Sabo (So.), GK Ariahna Hollis (Sr.)

Key newcomers: A/MF Reagan Williams (Fr.)

What to know: The Bulldogs have experience on their side, having graduated just two seniors from last year's 7-10 squad. That should help Central's positivity and confidence in adverse situations, which head coach Meagan McLeod said is a point of emphasis this year. McLeod also said that the Bulldogs have added a group of talented freshmen.


Coach: Travis Church, second season

Last season: 7-11

Key returners: D Makenzie Boisjolie (Sr.), A Grace Schuerlein (Sr.), MF Gabby Divirgilio (Jr.)

Key newcomers: GK Leah Shafer (So.), GK Kelsey Harris (Fr.)

What to know: The Longhorns took a step back in an injury-addled 2018 after making a deep playoff run the year before, but they have a few particularly talented contributors returning for this campaign. Boisjolie made second team All-State as a junior, and Divirgilio is a consistent threat in the midfield who has committed to Mercer.

North Forsyth

Coach: Robert Kienle, fifth season

Last season: 6-11

Key returners: MF Ashley Baysden (Sr.), MF Alondra Garcia (Sr.), GK Carlie Henning (Sr.), MF Addison Tucker (Sr.), D Halle Hennessey (Sr.)

Key newcomers: D Lexi Ferrer (Fr.), MF Sophia Eglian (Jr.), MF Emma Claire Seaney (Fr.)

What to know: Losing All-County honoree Julianna Chesna at attack is a blow for the Raiders, but North head coach Robert Kienle sees depth and experience at every other position group. The midfield is one particularly strong spot, and head coach Robert Kienle sees a chance for this team to equal or better the 9-9 mark it pulled off in 2017.

Pinecrest Academy

Coach: Alex Abbey, first season

Last season: 14-4

Key returners: Nika Brown (Sr.), Ella Binkley (Sr.)

What to know: Lambert alum Alex Abbey takes the helm of the Paladins' program from Jillian DiFazio, who isn't the only significant departure: All-County Player of the Year Molly Dankowski, one of the state's most prolific goal-scorers ever, is also gone. The Paladins have a strongly established program, though, and seniors like Brown and Binkley should help them adjust.

South Forsyth

Coach: Travis Pearre, third season

Last season: 8-9

Key returners: GK Kayla Casey (Jr.), MF/D Sarah Mele (Jr.), D/MF Carly Smith (Sr.), MF Maddie Ford (Sr.), A/MF Avery Wyckoff (So.), D Madden Pehrson (Jr.)

Key newcomers: D Olivia Lempner (Fr.), D/MF Kailyn Serbinski (Fr.), M Ruth Ann George (So.), GK Danielle Serbinski (Fr.)

What to know: The War Eagles have one of the county’s most prominent returning stars in goalkeeper Kayla Casey, a Mercer commit and returning All-State performer. However, they’re also quite young as a whole and have to overcome the loss of All-County senior midfield duo Camryn Klaus and Mackenzie Cole.

West Forsyth

Coach: John Kiefer, first season

Last season: 14-4, lost in the second round of the Class 1A private playoffs

Key returners: A Cami Merkel (So.), A Kate Pulliam (Sr.), A Maddie Houlberg (So.), A Reagan Warek (Jr.), A Maggie Bruce (So.), MF Savannah Sabol (Jr.), MF Ashley Hannigan (Jr.), MF Jordan Stipetich (Jr.), MF Lilly Athey (Jr.), D Harper Warr (Sr.), D Charlie Fagg (Jr.), D Sarah Beth Juneua (Jr.), D Bella Steigerwalt (So.), D Tayler Evangelista (So.)

Key newcomers: MF Jenna Burrow (Fr.), MF Hannah Cragg (Fr.), MF Morgan Tate (So.), MF Keila Reid (Fr.), MF Ava Krogman (So.), MF Kristen Bobo (So.), GK Megan Allbritton (Jr.), GK Kylie Jameson (So.)

What to know: The Wolverines made the deepest playoff run among county teams in 2018, and the vast majority of that team is coming back. One very significant absence is Ella Madson, who led West in goals last season but recently moved to Florida, but returners like Cami Merkel and Kate Pulliam still give West plenty of punch on offense. The Wolverines are still young, and depth could be an issue, but they have the talent to run with almost anyone.