State High Girls' Lacrosse Squad has High Expectations
A closer look at the State College Area High School girls' lacrosse squad:
Head coach — Mark Mahon, second season.
2013 record — 18-2.
Key losses — Katie Mahon, Kristin Sonsteby and Anna Stevenson.
Returning letter winners — Annie Hughes, Carrie Mahon, Caitlin McGlaughlin, Kendall Loviscky, Darien Miller, Renee Olivett, Brooke Shaffer, Olivia Stahl, Lauren Sonsteby, Sam Washell and Caroline Friberg.
Strengths — According to Mahon, the seasoned squad has many strengths.
"Our strength is our experience and speed. We have eight players returning who were starters on last year's PIAA State-quarterfinalist team. Additionally, we expect to have additional speed on the defensive end of the field.
Concerns — There are several concerns for Mahon as he readies for his second season at the helm of the Lady Little Lions.
"Katie Mahon (Mid-Penn first team all star) represented a significant portion of our goals scored, assists, draw controls, ground balls and provided great leadership (team captain) to last year's team," Mahon explains. "The loss of Katie and Anna Stevenson (Mid-Penn honorable mention) in the midfield due to graduation presents a significant hole in the midfield. Additionally, Kristin Sonsteby (Mid-Penn first team all star and team captain) held our opponents to less than seven goals per game and we relied on her as our last line of defense and is a huge hole to fill."
Mahon has some other concerns as well.
"Our main concerns will be filling the holes mentioned above (midfield and goalie), staying healthy, and how quickly our new captains will grow into their leadership roles," he says.
Outlook — Last season, the Lady Little Lions were able to sneak up on some teams. They probably won't be able to do that this year.
"We finished as the second best team in the Mid-Penn last year and we expect to be a serious contender for winning the conference title this year," Mahon says. "Last year was the first time a State College girls' lacrosse team made it to the state quarterfinals and this year we expect to strive to exceed that milestone and raise the bar a little higher."
Circle these dates — vs. Kennett Square (April 5); at Cumberland Valley (April 8); vs. Lower Dauphin (April 10); at Spring-Ford (April 21); vs. Hershey (May 3).