The Wildcats pounce on the Monarchs

Girl’s Lacrosse pulls off a victory against a past rival


Senior Rylie Peterson stays tight on her man in attempt at a turnover.

Bailey Christensen, Staff Writer

Sticks are strung tight, thick mud covered cleats digging into the field as the whistle blows, signaling the beginning of the game. The sound of sticks clashing echos through the stadium as the ball flies through the air and eventually the Wildcats find the back of the cage, 17 times.

In a constant battle on May 2nd, the girl’s varsity lacrosse team emerged victorious against their newly found rival, the Papillion Monarchs, with a score of 17-9.

Earlier this season, on March 28th, the Wildcats were shocked with the talent and skill presented by the Monarchs, as they showed up with pure aggression. After countless checks to the head and bloody knuckles scraped by other sticks the game was held close with the Wildcats being down at half-time, but managing to pull a close 8-6 win that left the team dissatisfied and in extreme exhaustion. This was not an ideal situation, leaving the team questioning what to fix in order to succeed within their next game.

“The team definitely improved since the first game against the Monarchs,” senior Jasmine Sharpe said. “I ended up scoring six goals in our last game. I watched film of previous games and noticed I was never an outlet to pass to. I then cut like crazy against this last game making sure I was an option every time someone had the ball.”

The first five seconds of the game brought new confidence to the team. At the start of a lacrosse game, and after every goal is scored, a draw takes place. Two girls, one from each team, place their sticks back to back. They then fling the ball into the air and try and catch it or hit it to one of their players, similar to a draw off in basketball. As the first seconds of the game ticked past senior captain Reagan Newsome stepped up against one of the Monarchs, catching the ball, running it up the field, and placing a shot within the back of the net. The first goal was down within a blink of an eye.

“This game showed improvement within the team, especially with ground balls,” Newsome said. “We have struggled with ground balls this season, coaches have told us multiple times the proper technique, yet it still faces as one of our biggest problems. This game we had 23 won ground balls, giving us greater possession to pressure Papillion’s defense.”

The Wildcats defense this game, also stepped up to the plate. Sophomore Olivia Peterson and senior Rylie Peterson both work as a power duo, constantly sticking on their man, pushing the Monarchs to the outside, blocking several key opponents. Within the first half, Olivia Peterson and Newsome managed to make a clean cut switch of their attackers which block many opportunities for the Monarchs during the night.

Bailey Christensen
Senior Rylie Peterson looks down field on transition. After a clear from the goalie, the Wildcats look for a way to pass up field. “It is important for people to get open,” Peterson said. “We need to maintain procession.”

Senior captain Madison Lackowski yelled commands on ball direction and offensive cutters. Communication has been a struggle within the team, but during this game yells could be heard with on the opposite side of the field.

This minimized the amount of shots on junior captain Ivy Wiens and allowed her to set up to snag the ball before it could sneak past her.  Once the goalie catches the ball, she must find an open player to clear it to. More and more players cut and shook off their man, making connecting passes to obtain a quick and easy transition. Rylie Peterson was a main option as she could be found strung out wide on the right side of the field. She eventually found Newsome who threw it up to attack, creating the perfect transition.

“We had beautiful transitions of four or so passes,” Lackowski said. “It is important because the ball always flies through the air faster than any of us can run. It allowed the defense to take a break and attack to get the ball easily for an opportunity to score.”

The team won 27 more draws throughout the game, allowing key players such as sophomore Jillian Haver, Newsome and Sharpe to get shots off and eventually gain a point to the scoreboard. Connecting passes from senior Heidi Lierz allowed quick stick shots as cuts were constantly flowing through the attack, leaving Papillion’s defense overworked.

While the game was a huge success, several miscommunications happened throughout the game. After the first few goals, speeding attack from Papillion was allowed to cut apart the defense and disorient them from their man. While goalkeeper Wiens managed to save around nine shots, nine seeped through.

As the sky turned dark blue and the clouds rolled in, the whistle blew signalling the end of a great win for the Wildcats against the Monarchs. This does not mark the end as the two teams will once again battle, in hopes of going to the semifinals within two week as state is creeping around the corner.