2007-05-10 / News

Lacrosse team ready for Barrington rematch

By Adrienne Downing

These Jamestown girls are all smiles after a victory over Lincoln. From left, are, Ashley Smith, Meaghan Hitt, Sydney Ferguson and Emily Miniutti. Photo by Adrienne Downing These Jamestown girls are all smiles after a victory over Lincoln. From left, are, Ashley Smith, Meaghan Hitt, Sydney Ferguson and Emily Miniutti. Photo by Adrienne Downing Sydney Ferguson, a North Kingstown High School junior and Jamestown resident, seemed like she had the power to score at will against Lincoln on April 26. Ferguson scored four goals against the Lions in the 15-7 Skipper win at home and was poised to score one more as time ran out.

"Sydney has great attack skills and she really likes to score goals," coach Keith Higgins said. "She is a real team player."

The Skippers scored three goals, including one by Ferguson, within the first five minutes of the game and the Lions looked stunned as they found themselves in a 5-0 hole before they could put any points on the board.

Goalie Meaghan Hitt, also from Jamestown, did not allow a goal for the first 20 minutes of the game and helped her team to take a 7-3 advantage into halftime.

"Meaghan has improved tremendously this year. She is a solid starting goaltender and she does whatever she can for the team," Higgins said.

Islander Ashley Smith aided in the defensive effort, and made sure that Lincoln never held a lead in the contest.

"She is a great low defense player," the coach said, adding, "She is extremely fast and always gives 100 percent."

Smith played on the junior varsity team last year and points out the difference in the team this year.

"This year the team has changed mentality a lot. We are more dedicated this year and all the girls on the team have the same goals," Smith said. "Everyone is taking it a lot more seriously and I'm glad. I like it more intense because I am a competitive person."

The Skippers started the season strong with easy wins over Middletown and Portsmouth, but met their match against a tough Barrington team on April 13. The team traveled to Barrington for the game and came home with a disappointing 16-4 loss.

Girls' lacrosse is still in its fledging stages in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, but Higgins said he considers Barrington in a league of their own.

"Our main goal this year is to beat Barrington, and we have to step it up to do that," Smith said.

Barrington is a likely playoff competitor for the Skippers and they also have to face them once more at home on May 14.

"I know this time when we play them we will be much more competitive," Smith said. "We have been working more on game scenarios and scrimmaging and have moved beyond working on fundamental things"

The team is now 5-3 overall and 4-3 in league play. Their other two losses were a 14-9 loss to LaSalle and a 14-11 loss to Prout.

"I feel like after the wins against Lincoln and Cranston West we are hopefully headed in the right direction," Higgins said.

Higgins said that one of the team's strengths this season is the leadership of the upperclassmen and captains Mary Beth McCrossan, Michelle Souza and Claire Lundgren.

The girls also feel the personal connection and team chemistry they have with each other are key to the team's success.

Although the team was more offensively oriented at the beginning of the season, Higgins has made some position changes among players and the defense is now at their strongest point of the year.

"I actually feel like at this point we could beat LaSalle we are playing so well," Smith said.

Smith also plays defense for the soccer team and points out how that has helped her lacrosse game.

"The positions, the quick feet movement and the mentality of the game are the same," she said. "Knowing how to play soccer before I played lacrosse has really helped me."

The team will face Portsmouth at home tonight at 7 p.m.

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