Changing on the fly, Laker field hockey starts 4-0

QUICK DRIVE UP THE FIELD — Laker Miranda Chadbourne drives the ball up the field. The Lakers are off to a strong start, improving to 4-0 with a victories over Falmouth in overtime and Poland. (Rivet Photo)

 

 

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

When a team is faced with an unexpected change or adversity, players can either rally or unravel.

Long-time Lake Region varsity field hockey coach Dagny Leland suddenly resigned, and junior varsity coach Lisa Shane took over the helm.

And how did the Lakers respond? The team is off to a 4-0 start with victories over Top 8 teams Falmouth and Yarmouth.

“It was an extremely hard decision for me to make, but I feel that I need to take care of myself and my family,” Leland said. “I know that Lisa is ready to take over as varsity coach. She and I have worked closely together for years and she knows the players quite well. I feel that I have left the team in good hands and they will work hard for Lisa.”

Shane described the coaching change as “tough circumstances,” yet she feels “honored to have the role” and pleased to lead “a great group of girls!”

One reason Shane feels the Lakers are quickly out of the game, a 360-degree turnaround from last fall, can be attributed to the squad’s play in the Deering Summer League.

“Playing on turf helped with their speed, stick skills and the team play improved,” she said. “During the preseason, we focused on conditioning and it’s paid off with low numbers to contend with. I’d say we have a balanced team with attack and defense.”

Another big reason for the 4-0 start is senior leadership. Starting seniors Kate Cutting, Kristina Morton and Kayla Reinhard “are smart and skilled defenders” while Kayleigh Lepage has “a clear command of our attack,” Coach Shane said.

Lepage has also provided the Lakers with good offensive pop, scoring as well as setting up teammates.

“Kristina can be the spark we need when play gets tough,” the coach added.

Moving junior Lucy Fowler from midfielder to the forward line has paid big dividends. She is leading the team in goals with seven, including two in a 4-0 win over Poland.

“However, we have a diverse front line and I expect any of our mids and forwards to put the ball in the cage throughout the season,” Coach Shane said.

Goals have been scored by Elizabeth Schreiber, Abby Scott-Mitchell, Tori Girardin and Lepage.

“We have a determined group this year which is great when I know the league is fairly even in the Top 10 and it takes continuous effort to keep improving,” Coach Shane said. “I believe they’re definitely up for the challenge.”

In the 4-0 win over the Knights, LR had goals by Elizabeth Schrieber and Abby Scott-Mitchell. Assists were by Lepage, Meghan Skarbinski and Scott-Mitchell. Sophomore goalie Meghan Van Loan had two saves.

Up next: Due to the death of a Lake Region senior last week, the game between the Lakers and Fryeburg Academy was postponed and rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 3:30 p.m.

The Lakers host Cape Elizabeth (2-2) this Friday at 4 p.m. LR hits the road Tuesday for a major test when they take on York (4-1) at 4 p.m.

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