Ashland Girls Lacrosse Looking to Get Back to The Tournament
By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Last spring the Ashland girls’ lacrosse team accomplished something they hadn’t in quite a while – they qualified for the Division 2 East Tournament.
Although the Clockers have lost some talent from that squad, they are very much in the hunt to return to the post-season in 2022.
“It was the first time in a long time,” Clocker Coach Katie Blasi said. “We did lose a bunch of girls from that team, but we’re bringing back a lot of experience this year, 13 seniors and 5 returners.”
After finishing the regular season with an 8-6-1 record, Ashland was awarded the eighth seed in the tournament. Unfortunately they didn’t get past the first round in their first visit in many a year’s losing to Wayland.
Senior attackers Allie Loughlin, Chloe Roberts and Avery Dinsdale will lead the Clockers onto the scoring sheets. Loughlin, a returning Tri-Valley League (TVL) All Star, led the team with 33 goals and will be relied upon heavily to put up those type of numbers once again if Ashland is to repeat last year’s performance.
Roberts and Dinsdale each tallied 13 goals last spring, while sophomore midfielder Anna Magennis bet the opposition’s goalie 19 times last season. The Clockers will need to score on a regular basis in order to battle with the rest of the TVL.
“We play in a competitive league and had a lot of close games last year, but we also had our share of one-sided games in favor of both sides,” the Clocker Coach said. “We have two state champions in Westwood (Division 1) and Dover-Sherborn (Division 2) in the TVL, so it gives us some tough regular season games.”
Having to go up against teams like Westwood and Dover-Sherborn during the regular season allows Ashland the opportunity to play some high-quality teams and prepare them for what they may face in the postseason. If the Clockers are able to hold their own in the league, they should be ok come playoff time.
In addition to Magennis, Blasi will also have sophomore Julie Schreiber, senior Katherine Carter and junior Jenna Fitzsimmons patrolling the midfield. Magennis, Schreiber and Carter were all TVL Honorable Mentions last season. The quartette is looked upon as the work horses of the team.
“All four girls brig the hustle and aggressiveness to the gam in terms of getting to the ground balls and working to win draw control,” Blasi said. “They will be the ones to get us into possession so that we can run our attack. They definitely work well together and complement each other’s various skills.”
The back end of the field will have junior Sophie Brandt guarding the Clocker goal. Brandt saw a lot of playing time during the Clockers run to the tournament last year giving the squad an experienced keeper in front of the goal. According to the Coach, she will be the only varsity goalie this season on the roster, is a vocal leader who knows the game inside and out and will be the quarterback of the Ashland defense.
In front of Brandt will be Maddie Marchetti, the senior leader of the defense. With Ashland playing a high-pressure scheme in the back field Marchetti will be in charge of making sure the rest of the girls are ready and communicating.
Sophomore Lizzie Forester played big for the Clockers on defense last spring and the coach is looking for the second-year player to take the next step this season.
Thus far, although young, the Clockers have seemed to fit in well with one another and are picking up the things Blais is incorporating into the game plan fast. With that said, the Coach is hoping to include some more difficult strategies into this year.
“We have a lot of experience, but we also have a lot of new girls to the team. I am looking for the new group to be able to take this program into the future,” Blasi said. “They have come together nicely as a team, knowing where each of them is going to be on the field. They are a strong unit and have improved their skills and team play.”
Blasi is looking for Ashland to put together some more decisive wins this season while improving upon last year’s regular season record and going further into the playoffs.