Weekly Feature

2014-04-03 / Sports

Lady Indians’ lacrosse squad hoping to use lessons learned in 2-10 season to improve


Last year’s 2-10 effort in divisional play wasn’t exactly how West second-year girls lacrosse coach Matt Marinaro was hoping things would pan out in 2013, but rather than dwell on last spring’s lack of wins, Marinaro is looking forward to using those experiences to put together a better effort this season.

“We lost a lot of close games last season that we had chances to win, but we just couldn’t come up with the big play to pull out the win,” Marinaro said. “Our girls saw last year that we can play with all of the top teams. If we work just a little harder, play with a little more focus and finish games a little stronger, we can beat those top teams this year.”

Leading the way for West this season will be senior second-year captain Erin Gehen. Gehen, a midfielder who was a Second Team Class B all-star last spring, led the team with 76 ground balls last season and was the third-highest goal scorer, with 21. Gehen also assisted on two other goals.

“With Erin as our captain, there’s never a doubt that we have the toughest and most competitive player on the field,” Marinaro said. “Despite her small stature, she plays with the biggest heart. She’s earned a lot of respect from the team, opposing players and coaches because of her play and her tenacity.”

Junior Lauren Fibich, who scored six goals, assisted on three others and scooped up 21 ground balls last year, will provide a nice counterbalance to Gehen in the midfield. Returning seniors Nikki Ciura (five goals, 18 ground balls last season) and Marissa Harper (nine goals, two assists) are poised to pace West’s attack, while junior Brianna Fridmann “will be playing wherever we need her to,” Marinaro said.

Senior defenseman Brooke Turner, meanwhile, will step into a greater role defensively this season after starting sparingly last spring. Fellow senior defensemen Rachel Spencer and Caitlyn Deubell “should add some leadership to our defense,” Marinaro said.

Sophomore Casey Villagomez is able to bring some versatility to the top two-thirds of the field with her ability to thrive either on attack or in the midfield. Freshmen goaltenders Katie Todaro and Raelyn Tiberio, meanwhile, are vying for playing time and looking to fill the vacancy between the pipes.

“Katie and Raelyn are doing a great job so far,” Marinaro said. “They are competitive, fearless and smart. Every day they come to practice ready to work and have done a nice job in practice; hopefully they can gain some game experience and their confidence can grow as the season moves along. I’m looking forward to building a program around the two of them.”

The Lady Indians, who had their season opener at East Aurora Tuesday postponed due to the field conditions, are slated to travel to Williamsville South Friday before hosting Lake Shore Monday and Amherst Wednesday in their final games before spring break.

“I think we have some decent potential to move the ball really well in transition,” Marinaro said. “We have stretches where we move the ball up and down the field with passes, and that will help us catch the defense out of position. Hopefully the girls learned from last year and are able to translate the experience into a few more wins. For us to have success, it’s going to be important for our team to play together, play smart, and play with more heart than whoever we play.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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