Ashland Looking To Advance Further Into Tournament
By Christopher Tremblay Staff Sports Writer
Over the past two seasons, the Ashland girls’ lacrosse team has managed to earn them selves a spot in the post-season.
Unfortunately the Clockers have not been successful once they’ve gotten there.
Under the guidance of coach Katie Blasi, Ashland has been a one and done team in the tournament. Last year, the Clockers were the 20 seed entering the Division 2 State Tournament after going 11-9 in the regular season, but for the second year in a row couldn’t get out of the first round as they fell to Plymouth North.
Having lost 13 seniors from last year’s squad may looking daunting on paper, but Blasi is very optimistic about the upcoming season and believes that she has a solid group of returners as well as some up and coming junior varsity players.
“It’s a reload season, so to speak,” the Ashland Coach said. “I really believe that we are going to have a super strong season with this team and are looking to go beyond that first round in the tournament.”
In order to get ready for the new season about 30 girls took it upon themselves to join an indoor league this past winter and the Coach believes that this is a definite plus.
“By playing during the winter this is going to help the girls get ready for the upcoming season,” Blasi said. “It should get the rust knocked off and they’ll be ready to go. Hopefully after the last two years of leaving the tournament in the first round, the girls will be hungrier and have that experience.”
Leading the Clockers onto the field and into the playoffs this season will be senior co-captains Jenna Fitzsimons and Sophie Brandt.
Fitzsimons, according to her coach, is an incredible player that can play all over the field. She is definitely a leader on the field. With her being able to play all three zones, Blasi can really rely on her and will adjust her position depending on the opposition and where the team is in need. Last spring, she notched 10 goals for the Clockers.
While Fitzsimons is putting the ball into the net, Brandt on the other will be looking to keep it out of the Ashland goal. The senior goaltender was named to the Tri-Valley league All-Star team and leads the team from the back of the field with her high lacrosse IQ.
In addition to the captains Ashland will be looking to a handful of juniors to carry the play on the field. Anna Magennis was not only the Clockers MVP last spring but was also named to the TVL All-Star squad and will be playing for UCONN in the future on the collegiate level. She is a talented individual that has some impressive stick skills and is able to score.
Julia Schreiver is another athlete who Blasi can use in just about any position, although she is primarily a middie for the team.
“Julia was a TVL All-Star Honorable Mention last year,” the Clocker Coach said. “She is a super strong defender who is an aggressive player that sees the field well and can also score.”
Two other juniors, Maggie Carter and Lizzie Forster, are two of the team’s strongest defenders and played a huge part on last year’s team. The Coach is hoping that duo can carry that effort forward while taking a step up to take on a bigger role this season.
Blasi sees this team as a strong, talented one that is thoroughly balanced; having nine returning players that are spread out over the entire field. All having the ability to be a star for the Clockers in any game.
“We definitely have the ability to do well with this talented group. We will be focusing on our stick skills while playing good lacrosse as a team and if we can do that we should be able to get past the first round this year,” Blasi said. “This is a team-oriented group and I am hoping that they come together quickly and early in the season to put us on that right path.”
Ashland hosted Holliston on Friday , March 31, to open the season.