Somers girls' lacrosse - experienced but rebuilding

By Tom Phelan - Staff Writer
Somers - posted Thu., Mar. 31, 2011
Goalie Melissa Perry had 'a lot of saves last year,' according to her coach. As practice started up in Somers, she found her form returning against fellow senior Courtney Blewett. Photos by Tom Phelan
Goalie Melissa Perry had 'a lot of saves last year,' according to her coach. As practice started up in Somers, she found her form returning against fellow senior Courtney Blewett. Photos by Tom Phelan

Last year, the Somers High School girls' lacrosse team scored 135 goals – a very strong showing for a team that finished with a 6-10 record. With that many goals in a season, it would seem that they only worked on attack last year, but second-year coach Elaine Kuczarski said they actually focused only on defense. “My philosophy is that a good attack starts with good defense,” she said during their first week of outdoor practice for this season. “There’s no attack without that defense.” For Somers, 135 was “a lot of goals.”

We’re still rebuilding our program,” Kuczarski said, “but we have a lot of freshmen out this year.” The Spartans only lost five seniors from last year’s squad. “I still feel like we’re rebuilding,” she said, “maybe because it’s only my second year as their coach.”

Kuczarski said she and the team would certainly like to have a season that qualifies them for the CIAC state tournament. It’s a major goal for a team that has a dozen freshmen trying out, as well as nine sophomores trying to lock down a spot on the varsity roster. But “getting to states” is a goal that Kuczarski thinks is “very realistic” as long at the team continues to work hard.

“We have some tough, tough teams in our conference,” Kuczarski said. “In the conference, anything can happen. But it’s good for us, because it will help us prepare for the state tournament.” Avon and Suffield immediately came to her mind, as she discussed how small and competitive the NCCC is in girls’ lacrosse. “If we do make it into the states, that’s what we’ll be facing – the best in the state,” she said.

Coach’s Corner:

Head Coach: Elaine Kuczarski – Second year at SHS; Assistant Coach: Sherri French – first year at SHS

“We are rebuilding. The players have a strong work ethic. Many of them worked in the off season to improve their skills. They are developing great team chemistry, and are working very hard to improve their defensive skills and their field sense,” said head coach Elaine Kuczarski.

Players to Watch:

Lizzie Poitras – Senior - Midfielder

Poitras returns for her fourth year. A 2010 All-Conference selection in the NCCC. She will play mostly in the center of the attack. “Lizzie is definitely a leader on the team,” says her coach. “We’re looking for her to set the tone in practice.”

Melissa Perry – Senior – Goalie

One of four goalies competing for the starting position. Kuczarski is looking for her to keep the ball out of the net. She had a lot of saves last year, and the coach hopes she will continue right through this season.

Jessica Olynicw – Sophomore – Attack

Was a starter as a freshman. Coach Kuczarski is looking for her to get the ball on the draw, and initiate the attack right away. Only a sophomore, she worked on her game skills a lot in the off-season, and plans to play lacrosse in college.

Seniors

Kaylee Alberti, Lauren Astone, Courtney Blewett, Kelsey Falcone, Morgan Falcone, Tricia Galinski, Laura McLaughlin, Melissa Perry, Lizzie Poitras, Millicent Sawtelle and Madison Zachary


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