by Debbie Schantz-Hiscott
The George Mason High School girls lacrosse team completed its best regular and post- season in history last week with a combined record of 14-4.
Mason’s only losses through the season, conference and regional competitions were to the eventual 4A state champions, Woodgrove High School.
Unlike other spring sports, lacrosse competes with schools in the 2A-4A conferences, but tiny George Mason fared well against larger schools, some with nearly twice the enrollment.
“Our team was an extremely close knit group, who both on and off the field were a ‘family.’ Starting in September at our offseason workouts, this team showed their dedication to improving as individuals and as a team. They were determined to win and do what it takes to make it to States. This 2015 group of girls will forever stand out to me and our lacrosse program,” said varsity head coach Courtney Gibbons.
For her coaching successes, Gibbons, in her eighth year of coaching the Mustangs, was awarded the Conference Coach of the Year and Regional Coach of the Year honors.
The young team was led by offensive threats and senior captains Eleanor Langford at midfield and Haley Zullo at attack and sophomore captains and midfielders Lydia Gorman and Sarah Lubnow. Freshman Amy Roche rounded out a potent midfield that excelled at draw control, transitions, speed and scoring.
The defense was anchored by freshman goalie Annette Schlitt, freshman defender Claire Hiscott and juniors Rae Mondragon and Caroline Duffett. Schlitt posted an amazing 69 percent save percentage for the season.
Additional team strength came from all conference second team players Hannah Hiscott on attack and Rae Mondragon on defense. Amy Roche was also named to the second team all conference team on midfield as was Annette Schlitt in goal.
All conference first team honors, as well as all region first team honors went to Hiscott, Lubnow and Zullo.
“The Mason girls’ lacrosse program has improved so much in just the last two years. Our hard work in the off season gave us a jump start to our successful season,” Lubnow said. “Next year we hope to make it back to the state tournament and bring home a title. I’m so excited to see what we will accomplish in the next two years!”
Zullo gave her perspective on what it’s been like seeing the team grow the past four years.
“Playing for Mason for the past four years has been such a great experience. We started my freshman year as a team that didn’t win many games, and ended my senior year winning almost all of them,” Zullo said.
“I’m so happy that I have been part of a team that could build itself up and go to the state semifinals. Our whole team has such a special bond with each other and our coaches, and I think that is what made all the difference and allowed my senior season to end on a high note.”