West Forsyth’s seniors were freshmen the last time the Lady Wolverines lacrosse team made the state playoffs. From the look of things, they haven’t forgotten what to do in the postseason.
Eight different West players scored goals, and the No. 7-ranked Lady Wolverines defeated Hillgrove 16-3 in the opening round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Tuesday at The Wolverine Den.
Sophomore Monica Martelli led West with four goals, while seniors Laura Sheffield and Cece Bailey scored three apiece and Lindsey Lindaman added two. Hannah Supik, Haley Hess, McKinley Puckett and Jessica Coley tallied one goal apiece.
The No. 2 seed Lady Wolverines jumped out to a 6-0 lead over the No. 3 seed Lady Hawks midway through the opening half, with each goal scored by a different player.
"There’s not just one person that stands out," Hess said. "We can play together as a team really good, so that’s helpful in the playoffs."
Lady Wolverines head coach Dan Kaplan tried to be as creative as possible during practice in the days leading up to his team’s first state playoff game since 2010.
"One of our boys [team’s] goalies came out the other day to let us shoot [against] him because he was a lot more aggressive and would come out [of the circle] ... which I think helped our girls," Kaplan said.
Supik tallied a goal less than five minutes into the second half to stretch West’s lead to 12-2 and triggered a running clock for the remainder of the game.
"We were pretty confident in our team’s ability," Sheffield said. "If we just play like ourselves, we’re going to win."
Senior Dakota Duchaine said the victory is the latest memorable moment in a season dedicated to Lily Anderson, a former student at Vickery Creek Middle School. The 11-year-old lost her battle with Neuroblastoma, a form of cancer, in December 2012.
"I think this is really cool that this is how we’re ending our senior year, especially for our [friend] Lily that we play for," Duchaine said.
"That’s been our motto this year, ‘Play for Lily.’ We have someone on the team that [wears number] 11 for her every game."
West will either travel to Mill Creek or host Roswell in the second round of the playoffs on Friday.