(March 29, 2013) The Worcester Prep Lady Mallards are experienced lacrosse players with noticeable speed.
“We have so many kids that are so fast, it’s going to be impossible for teams to marks us. And, we have so much depth,” third-year Coach Page Rogers said. “We’re pretty balanced, with good leadership.”
Nineteen of the 21 players on Rogers’ roster have competed at the varsity level.
The two newcomers are junior Frankie Willing (attack) and sophomore Maura Smith (defense). Smith will play for both the varsity and JV teams.
Junior attacker Kristen Shriver was a member of the varsity squad her freshman year, but missed last season due to a knee injury.
“Kristen is the quarterback of the offense. To have her back is a big help,” Rogers said.
The junior has verbally committed to play lacrosse at Div. I Winthrop University in South Carolina.
A number of other veterans have also committed to compete for their respective colleges including senior captain Molly Marshall (Div. I Furman University), who Rogers said is the “glue” of Worcester Prep’s defense and a good communicator in the backfield, and junior midfielder Lilly DiNardo (Div. I University of Virginia). According to an ESPN poll, DiNardo is the No. 4 recruit in the country among the junior class.
Both girls received First Team All-Conference honors at the end of the 2012 season, where the Mallards went 13-3.
“I think in past years we’ve been a really young team with mostly freshmen and sophomores in starting positions, but now with my class and the class above me we’re really experienced,” said DiNardo, a three-year varsity player. “With my experience, I can help the midfield and offense and the other seniors on defense, their maturity back there will really make us a strong team.
“We’ve been pretty much the same team except for a couple people the past two years so we’ve really grown to become close and we have a lot of fun,” she said.
Returning in the goal is junior Maddie Pilchard, who has verbally committed to play at Div. I Stanford University. Pilchard had shoulder surgery last winter and missed most of the season. She will split time in goal with sophomore Carolyn Dorey.
Also back to compete are seniors, captains Alex Bruder (midfield), who has committed to play at Div. II Queens University of Charlotte, and Div. II Wesleyan University of Connecticut-bound Meredith Smith (attack), Dara Pappas (defense), Ragen Doyle (midfield) and Meredith Soulé (attack) and sophomore Molly Soulé (midfield). Both Bruder and Smith were named to the 2012 All-Conference First Team.
“The girls have a lot of confidence. We’re not going to be playing as safe this year because we have so much experience and depth,” Rogers said. “The girls can give 100 percent every second of the game because I can sub and we won’t lose a step. We’ll be running a strong pressure defense this year because we have a lot of athleticism and stamina, and on offense, we picked up right where we left off last year.”
The Mallards will face some stronger competition this season, traveling across the bridge for a few games. The squad hopes to take home the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference title this year. Worcester lost 9-8 to rival Sts. Peter & Paul in the 2012 championship game.
“We want to win a banner and we want to have more recognition for our team, for Worcester Prep lacrosse because we don’t really get that much,” Marshall said. “If we beat all these big Baltimore schools and schools over the bridge, it will help a lot.”