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2020 GIRLS LACROSSE PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
Kayla Casey
South Forsyth senior Kayla Casey, right, attempts a save April 12 during a 16-5 loss to Lambert. File Photo
Denmark

Coach: Lindsay Burnell, second season

Last season: 8-10

Key returners: A Alexis Kugelman, Sr., D Olivia Hill, Jr., D Emma Sparrow, Jr., D Allyson Hayes, So., G Kate Hardy, Jr.

Key newcomers: G Emily Armstrong, Sr., A/MF Kelsey Sowa, Jr., A/D/MF Ansley Young, Fr., MF/A Cami Tilkin, Fr.

What to know: The Danes are still going through the growing pains that one can expect from a brand-new program — numbers are their biggest weakness — but they feel like defensively, they’re a team that will be tough to play attack on. Emma Sparrow will lead that defense after a sophomore season in which she forced 38 turnovers and collected 38 ground balls.

Forsyth Central

Coach: Meagan McLeod, sixth season

Last season: 7-9

Key returners: A Hailey Ririe, Sr., MF Lauren Sabo, Jr.

Key newcomers: MF Avery Jennings, Fr., MF Morgan Carr, Fr.

What to know: Central has the most upperclassmen that head coach Meagan McLeod has had during her tenure at Central, and she feels like the fact that her team has played together for a while now will be an advantage. Winning close games was one of Central’s biggest downfalls last year, and handling the pressure that comes in tight, late-game situations will be key for the Bulldogs in 2020. Junior Lauren Sabo is a returning All-County selection in the midfield.

Lambert

Coach: Travis Church, third season

Last season: 10-9

Key returners: MF Gabby DiVirgilio, Sr., MF Carlee Talty, Sr., D Kat Conti, Jr.

Key newcomers: D Mackenzie Lipton, Jr., MF Emmy Price, Sr., G Kelsey Harris, So., Goalie, G Kaitlynn Bennett, Fr.

What to know: The Longhorns will be led by the strong midfield duo of Mercer signee Gabby DiVirgilio and Carlee Talty. Their scoring and defensive prowess made them All-County selections last year, with DiVirgilio set a single-season school record with 84 goals and 12 assists as a junior. Lambert will probably go where those two take them. While the Longhorns have a lot of depth, behind their senior class, it’s unproven at the varsity level. For third-year coach Travis Church, how quickly his team can mature will make a difference.

North Forsyth

Coach: Robert Kienle, sixth season

Last season: 10-7

Key returners: MF Karli Wiseman, Sr., MF Emma Claire Seaney, So., G Shelby Yarbrough, Sr., D Kayla Smith, Sr.

Key newcomers: MF Peyton Davis, Fr., MF/A Cameron Barnes, Fr., D Maddie Triche, So.

What to know: Head coach Robert Kienle feels like this year’s North team is the most athletic and skilled team he’s seen since he’s been at the helm. The Raiders have depth at every position, but there will still be a learning curve with the lack of varsity experience in some places. Sophomore midfielder Emma Claire Seaney was a 2019 first-team All-County selection, scoring 52 goals with 51 draw controls last year.

Pinecrest Academy

Coach: Alex Abbey, second season

Last season: 2-12-1

Key returners: A Casey Brenan, Jr., G Taylor Keyman, So.

Key newcomers: MF Camila Monroy, Fr., MF Anna Walters, Fr.

What to know: With only one returning upperclassman in junior attacker Casey Brenan, Pinecrest is very young this year, but second-year head coach Alex Abbey sees that as an opportunity to grow quickly. Building a new team dynamic will be key for the Paladins, who are banking on that kind of chemistry lasting beyond this year.

South Forsyth

Coach: Travis Pearre, fourth season

Last season: 4-10

Key returners: G Kayla Casey, Sr., D Sarah Mele, Sr., G Danielle Serbinski, So., D Kailyn Serbinski, So., A/MF Avery Wyckoff, Jr., A/MF Ruth Ann George, Jr., D/MF Olivia Lempner, So., A/MF Makenna Segal, Jr., D Mary-Madden Pehrson, Sr.

Key newcomers: A Alex Austin Vallor, So., A Carly Mabee, So., MF Trysta Harris, So., MF Cassidy Aragon, So., A Jordan Chancy, Sr.

What to know: South will benefit from another year of experience by returning a large amount of players from last season, but still need to find consistent depth as a team. A few of those returners include 2019 All-County selections Kayla Casey, a goalie who signed with Mercer, and defender Sarah Mele, who caused 10 turnovers and collected 20 ground balls as a junior.

West Forsyth

Coach: Chris Kiefer, second season

Last season: 13-7-2

Key returners: A Cami Merkel, Jr., MF Jenna Burrow, So., A Reagan Wawrek, Sr., G Emma Sindersine, Sr., A Maddie Houlberg, Jr., A/MF Maggie Bruce, Jr., MF Savannah Sabol, Sr.

Key newcomers: MF Ansley Athey, Fr., MF Noelle Kirley, Fr.

What to know: Coming off its best season as a program, West is in good position to make another run to the Final Four, and perhaps further. Last year’s Forsyth County News Player of the Year Cami Merkel will lead the Wolverines’ attack, coming off a school-record sophomore season (97 goals, 58 assists, 51 ground balls, 30 draw controls). With 10 seniors, she’ll have a good supporting cast as well, including newcomers such as Noelle Kirley, who brings speed to the midfield, the only position where West is not as deep.