Marblehead High girls lacrosse coach Annie Madden understood that last year was going to be a transition year after losing three pivotal seniors to graduation.
The Magicians went through it and were able to survive the process to record an 8-12 regular season record before winning a Division 2 state tournament game, 18-6, against Tantasqua Regional, the 35th seed, in the preliminary round. They then lost to Bedford, the third seed, 16-6, in the Round of 32. The Marblehead girls were ranked 30th overall.
“We have a lot of girls coming back with at least one year of varsity experience,” said Madden. “They are all in good shape and working hard and getting better since we started practice (on March 20).”
To get ready for the season, Coach Madden brought her players to Lexington for a “Play Day,” which featured six 20-minute scrimmages against Westford, Framingham, Reading, Woburn, Phillips Andover and Algonquin.
Saylor Caruso and Sydney Langton are this year’s captains, and they will lead a team that will be working for every ground ball and showing up to compete both offensively and defensively, according to Madden.
“Their work ethic has really impressed me in the early going,” Madden said.
The veteran Marblehead coach has 41 players trying out this year, and five of them are freshmen.
“We have a large group of sophomores and juniors on this roster,” said Madden. “But we will still lean heavily on our six seniors.”
Among the seniors is second-year varsity goalie Kate Santeusanio, who works well with her defensive cohorts, led by Caruso, her classmate and captain, the coach said.
Senior Isabelle Ferrante will be counted on to lead the offense, while Lucy Wales and Langton will provide aggressiveness at midfield to help her teammates finish off scoring plays.
Senior Tamia Johnson is back in uniform after recovering from an ACL injury, and her perseverance alone should help solidify the defense.
“(Johnson) will bring us to the next level with her strength,” said Madden. “These seniors should be able to pull this large group of sophomores and juniors together for a winning season.”
Two years ago, they had a winning season with a 10-5 record, and if everything goes well, they will get back on that successful track this spring.
These Magicians will open up the 2023 campaign at home against Woburn on Thursday, March 30, starting at 4 p.m.
Girls lacrosse schedule
- Woburn, March 30, 4 p.m.
- Manchester Essex, April 3, 4 p.m.
- At Ipswich, April 6, 4:30 p.m.
- Beverly, April 10, 4 p.m.
- At Swampscott, April 13, 4 p.m.
- At Danvers, April 15, 10 a.m.
- Peabody, April 17, 10 a.m.
- At Masconomet, April 25, 4:30 p.m.
- At Salem, April 27, 4 p.m.
- At Saugus, April 28, 4 p.m.
- At Beverly, May 1, 4 p.m.
- Danvers, May 4, 4:30 p.m.
- At Reading, May 6, 4 p.m.
- Gloucester, May 8, 4:30 p.m.
- At Peabody, May 11, 6 p.m.
- Masconomet, May 17, 4:30 p.m.
- At Winthrop, May 18, 4 p.m.
- North Reading, May 22, 4:15 p.m.