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County girls lacrosse pride, rivalries flourish with Forsyth Challenge
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Forsyth County News

The annual Forsyth Challenge will take place on Saturday at West Forsyth High School, where the county’s varsity girls’ lacrosse programs will take part in the yearly tournament against opponents from neighboring schools.

According to an official release, each game will use regular season procedures and rules. No overtimes will be played if regulation ends in a tie, and the games will not be factored into the teams’ records.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. when Forsyth Central takes on Pace Academy, followed by Southwest DeKalb versus North Forsyth (12 p.m.), Woodstock versus South Forsyth (2 p.m.), St. Pius X versus West Forsyth (4 p.m.) and Cherokee versus Lambert (6 p.m.).

"The Challenge was created to develop the relationship of the girls’ lacrosse teams in our county in a competitive environment," said West head coach Dan Kaplan. "It is a great way for all the girls to root for their home county teams and develop friendly rivalries."

West enters the Challenge in good spirits after a strong start to the 2014 campaign. The Lady Wolverines are coming off two convincing wins against Riverwood (16-2) and Marist (10-6), and feel optimistic about their well-rounded roster moving forward.

"Our attackers continue to drive our offense with Monica Martelli, Erika Cross and McKinley Puckett," Kaplan said. "Our defense has been strong with Goalie Kara Duclos and our defenders, Hannah Huggins, Allie Fagg, Madie Pollack and Haley Harrison."

After dropping its first three games, Central is starting to get back on track. The Lady Bulldogs took down Mountain View in double overtime on Monday, 15-14. They also faced off against Northview on Thursday, which ended too late for this edition.

According to head coach Samantha Bradley, Rachel Fratt, Maria Hansen and Caitlin Howell are players to keep an eye on.

North Forsyth (3-4) is off to a bit of an erratic start but has shown flashes of optimism. Despite some demoralizing losses to the likes of Chattahoochee and Centennial, the Lady Raiders have earend impressive victories against Norcross and Duluth.

North is led by a strong senior class, including attack Savannah Robar, midfielders Stephanie Grove, defenseman Jenna Zirlott and goaltender Darrian Short. Additionally, underclassmen Rachel Hedjuk (attack), Brittney Smith (midfield) and Analise Vigilante (midfield) are all players to watch.

South Forsyth has had an up-and-down year, as well, dropping three in a row at the beginning of the season, followed by three straight wins, then two consecutive losses. The Lady War Eagles will play North Gwinnett on Friday at 5 p.m. prior to taking on Woodstock at the Challenge.

Lambert is off the best start of all teams in the county, and is sitting pretty with a 6-1 record thus far. The Lady Longhorns figure to have a lot of momentum heading into this weekend, especially after crushing Wheeler 19-1 on Monday. That blowout win came just after a thrilling overtime triumph over Alpharetta last Thursday.

Goalies Morgan Berman and D’Ann Conroy have been solid in net, and Jessica Beck has been scoring at a high clip, racking up four goals against Wheeler. Cloe Latini, Danielle Dollar, Emily Brennen, Molly Walz and Peyton Smith have all been contributing offensively, as well.