By Rob Tetro
The Fulton girls’ varsity lacrosse team has the tough task of developing newer players after losing several players to graduation over the last couple of seasons.
With this in mind, coach Drew White said allowing players to gain quality experience on this field this season will be a key goal for his team.
If The Lady Raiders are to succeed in 2014, their younger players will have to grow and develop into contributors throughout the course of the season.
Fulton will have six seniors on the team this season, all of which are returning players. Seniors Casey Shannon, Julia Ludington, Julia Lee, Isabela Gonzalez, Jenna Hudson and Alexis Lastra will be relied upon to be key contributors this season.
When practices began in early March, White expected his players to be physically prepared to handle the work ahead of them. Players were encouraged to take part in off-season weight lifting programs. To White’s approval, most of his players were able to actively participate in these workouts and had the physical conditioning to show for it.
Unfortunately, the Lady Raiders have had limited time preparing outdoors for the season. White said in their quest to continue developing their conditioning, his players will benefit from the challenges they face while adjusting to outdoor preparation and competition.
White said his newer players still continue to adjust to the speed of varsity lacrosse. However, not only does he expect his younger players to make the necessary adjustments, White also believes they will be physically able to play more and more as the season goes on.
Amelia Coakley, Casey Shannon and Julia Ludington will serve as team captains for the Lady Raiders this season.
The schedule Fulton will face this season is a tough one. White said the league they play in is challenging and gets stronger every year.
He expects perennial power Christian Brothers Academy to be just as impressive as they have been in the past. Rival East Syracuse Minoa is expected to have a solid season as well.
The Lady Raiders tough league schedule aside, White also expects the non-league opponents his team will face this season will be equally as challenging.
Despite trying to fill many voids due to graduation, Fulton expects to have numerous strengths this season. One of the most notable strengths is in the middle of the field.
Captains Coakley, Shannon and Ludington all return for their fourth season starting at Midfield. Led by them, Fulton expects to be able to successfully control the middle of the field on the offensive end.
White also points out that expectations are high for sophomore Goalie Kaylin Pafumi headed into the season.