The goal for West Forsyth's girls lacrosse team entering this season was obvious. They wanted a state championship.
The Wolverines certainly looked the part through the first eight games of the season, too, racing out to an unblemished 8-0 start, including a 4-0 mark in Class 7A-6A play.
And though the cancellation of the 2020 spring season prevented West Forsyth from reaching its ultimate goal, the Wolverines managed to accomplish another one of their goals when they traveled to Mill Creek and knocked off the team that ended their season a year ago in the state semifinals.
The Wolverines had a wealth of experience returning this year, headlined by 10 seniors and a handful of promising underclassmen.
West Forsyth's 10 seniors are Lily Athey, Charli Fagg, Sarah Beth Juneau, Mia Kiagiadakis, Savannah Sabol, Abby Sindersine, Emma Sindersine, Jordan Stipetich, Tatum Van Der Wall and Reagan Wawrek
"These seniors helped get our program to where we are today," West Forsyth head coach Chris Kiefer said. "We are saddened by the abrupt end to an incredible, undefeated season. But we are incredibly proud of the time and effort put in by each of them over the years. West Forsyth's girls lacrosse class of 2020 seniors will not be forgotten."
Emma Sindersine signed last week to play lacrosse at Rhinehardt University.
Kiefer said Sindersine, part of the program for all four years at West Forsyth, was critical in developing Kiagiadakis at the goalie position.
"Emma took on a role in helping to develop our other senior, Mia. She helped build her confidence and learn the goalie position," he said. "Emma has put in a lot of work and has helped the team over the years with some big saves."
Kiagiadakis played the position for only two years but managed to earn the respect of her teammates, as she was voted a team captain before the season.
"Fast forward to spring 2020, Mia returned as a senior just as positive as before and continued her role as one of our goalies," Kiefer said. "On top of filling her role as one of our goalies, Mia’s teammates voted her captain for the 2020 lacrosse season. Mia brought a unique perspective to our 2020 captains. She was able to connect with the younger players and help them become a part of our program. Mia is a strong and positive leader on and off of the field. It has been a joy to spend the last two seasons with her."
Sindersine's twin sister, Abby Sindersine, also played at West Forsyth all four years.
Kiefer said Abby is "an amazing leader, kind and (a) smart player. She was a fantastic role model for the younger players, and I hope she wants to coach one day. She would be a great coach and leader."
Another team captain, Kiefer said he's seen Sabol demonstrate leadership on and off the field, adding, "She always has a smile on her face."
"(Savannah) is a great athlete, leader, and role model in our program," Kiefer said. "She is a contributor on our midfield line, she has stepped up and won crucial draw controls."
Fagg played four years for the Wolverines, filling a role as one of West Forsyth's key defenders.
In fact, the surname Fagg has been synonymous with West Forsyth lacrosse for much of the past decade, as her sister, Allie Fagg, is among the school's all-time leaders in ground balls and graduated from West Forsyth in 2016.
"There is never a dull moment in practice or games with Charli around," Kiefer said. "She is fun and her energy is contagious to those around her. Charli has been a good role model for her younger teammates and helps make everyone feel included."
But while one family tradition ended, another one continued as Athey played her senior season with freshman Ansley Athey, her younger sister.
"On the field, Lily served us well as a left-handed attacker," Kiefer said. "Lily was always coachable and set a good example for the younger players to look up to. During the 2020 season, as a coach, I got to see Lily take the field with her younger sister, Ansley. Lily was a player you could count on to do what you asked when she stepped on the field."
Juneau also served as a captain for the Wolverines. A vaunted defender who specializes in knocking down and intercepting passes, Kiefer noted Juneau's light-hearted nature as part of the team.
"Sarah Beth, also known as SB, is an incredible light in our program," Kiefer said. "She keeps everyone laughing and always has a smile on her face, even if we are running the mile. I met SB during the fall travel season of 2017. She showed up to our first practice late, having gone to the wrong field, in true SB fashion. I have enjoyed getting to watch SB grow and develop both on and off of the field."
Kiefer said Stipetich has been a versitile player for West Forsyth, chipping in at midfielder and even defense over the past couple of seasons.
"Jordan has shown a lot of growth from last season to this season," Kiefer said. "Jordan is one of our quiet leaders but demonstrates what we want in a player, she is ready to do what is asked of her when she steps on the field."
Kiefer mentioned the growth of Van Der Wall and Wawrek.
"Tatum jumped right into the game," he said of Van Der Wall. "She is funny and smart and will do what any coach asks of her.
"She has stepped up this year and continually worked hard in practice and games," Kiefer said of Wawrek. "Reagan has grown on and off the field since I joined the program last year. She has been a joy to coach.