By: James Justice
While the sunshine and warm weather of May is becoming a staple, it’s the spring sports that have been at it since the cold days of early March. And for the Caldwell girl’s lacrosse team, it’s been nothing short of a roller coaster ride throughout most of the 2015 campaign. With a mixture of veteran leadership in seniors Jess Bracamonte, Maggie Lawshe, and Madison Ciccaglione, to the underclassmen in juniors Sarah Conahan and Grace Conlon, and sophomores Sam Garguilo and Allie Behre, the Caldwell girls lacrosse team have remained a tight knit group despite the season’s adversity. During the first month of the season, the Chiefs managed to pull off both a three game winning streak and a three game losing streak, both streaks including comprehensive victories such as the Chiefs 16-6 win over Mount St. Dominic on “Lax Saturday”, and comprehensive defeats in their loss to arch rivals West Essex 16-5. It quickly became clear that the only consistency would be inconsistency, as the Chiefs would lose heart breakers to both Roxbury and Villa Walsh 11-10 and 9-8 respectively, only to follow up with hammering defeats to both Morristown and Montclair.
Although when we look back at this Chiefs team for a defining moment, it will have to be their back-to-back series with our neighbors to the east, Verona. The two teams squared off in an Essex County Tournament match on Saturday April 25th where Verona simply played the Chiefs off the park, taking a commanding halftime lead, only to cruise to victory 18-7. After this defeat, both teams were to meet up again, this time on Bonnel in a regular season match, in what turned out to be a statement game for the girls in blue and white. The Chiefs played fantastic from front to back, senior goalie Rachel McNamara had seven saves, Maggie Lawshe netted a hat-trick, with Grace Conlon and Sam Garguilo adding on two goals of their own to help the Chiefs take a extremely talented Verona side all the way to the wire, just narrowly falling short of revenge 11-10. Despite the result, the effort clearly showed what this 2015 Chiefs team is made of, and may even have sparked some momentum down this last stretch of the season, which the girls will need to ride if they wish to make a late season push for States. The girls finally regular season game is on Bonnel this upcoming Tuesday against Montville, and may prove to be an emotional one as this season reaches its straightaway.