Hartland Women’s Lacrosse 2012…….State Championship or Bust!
Big expectations and unfinished business motivate this year's team.
By Aaron Skomial
When you enter into a new season with any team, you have hopes for a successful season.
There are not only hopes, but also an expectation to do very well this year for the women’s lacrosse team in Hartland. The team is heavily laden with senior talent that has played together since the eighth grade.
So what do we expect from this group? There should be a lot of scoring and fast paced games. That is the nature of the game, but this team exemplifies that. The team has had to wait all off-season to get another chance at going deep into the playoffs and win a state championship.
For them, there is unfinished business.
The team went to the regional final game and lost in sudden death overtime to the eventual state champion from Brighton last year. There is plenty of motivation for a great year.
The team has 14 seniors, five juniors, and three sophomores. The major change will be at goalie this year. Tabitha Ferguson will move from JV to Varsity replacing the lone senior, Kelsey LaValley, from last year’s team.
Kelsey LaValley is attending Grand Valley State University and is playing lacrosse for the Lakers.
The key players returning this season are led by junior first team All State Attacker Ryan Skomial and Senior Attacker Haley Crouse. All State Honorable Mentions, Rachael Sharpe and Natalie Sochaki help augment a potent line up.
Captains for the season are Haley Crouse, Courtney Lee, Natalie Sochaki, and Ryan Skomial. Crouse and Lee are seniors and Sochaki and Skomial are juniors. They all look forward to making improvements as a team. Each of them realizes that working together is the most important aspect to a winning chemistry.
The varsity team is led by second year coach Katie Gutteridge. Last season, Coach Gutteridge and the team finished 13-4. Coach Gutteridge came to the lacrosse program after coaching four seasons at Grand Blanc. Her record over the last five years is 70-28-3. She cut her teeth playing lacrosse at Western Michigan University and her love of lacrosse continued to grow. That love motivated her to coach and grow the game in various parts of the state.
With the lacrosse program doing well, it has also grown over the years. The JV program will look to have 19 girls on the team, many who are trying it for the first time.
The Head Coach for the JV program is Tim Bausack. This will be Coach Bausack’s first season with Hartland. His prior experience comes from being the Varsity Coach at Carmen Ainsworth for the past three seasons and he’s a certified US Lacrosse Level 1 coach. He looks to develop the JV players so that it aids the success of the varsity program.
The schedule for the 2012 season is filled with great competition. A scrimmage is scheduled for tomorrow night against Bloomfield. JV starts at 5pm and varsity starts at 6:30pm. The team will host Brighton on April 20 looking to avenge last season’s playoff loss.
Senior night will be May 10 against Division 2 titans, Flint Powers. The final home game of the season will wrap up with perennial powerhouse East Grand Rapids on May 14.
The season is highly anticipated by players, friends, family, and the athletic department. The competition will be tough, but it will only make the team better for a playoff run. The team always appreciates support from the community and a willingness to learn about the fastest growing sport in the country.
For more information concerning the Hartland Women’s Lacrosse season, please go to www.hartlandlacrosse.com .