2008-04-17 / News

Lady Skippers humble two lacrosse powerhouses

By Stephanie Heelan Cotsonas

Senior co-captains Ashley Smith, left, and Sydney Ferguson form a powerful offensive-defensive punch for the Skippers this season. Both girls played lacrosse during the off-season to sharpen their skills. Senior co-captains Ashley Smith, left, and Sydney Ferguson form a powerful offensive-defensive punch for the Skippers this season. Both girls played lacrosse during the off-season to sharpen their skills. So far, so good. The North Kingstown High School girls' lacrosse team is off to a great start after winning their first three games against the division's best teams.

Barrington has won every state title since the team's inception in 2001 and has met North Kingstown in four of those contests, including the finals last season. The reigning state champs were upset by the Skippers on Monday, 12-5.

Going into the game against Barrington, Head Coach Keith Higgins said, "We are feeling good about how we are playing so far and are taking one game at a time."

The Skippers kicked off their season on April 8 with a huge 13- 12 win over Moses Brown, in a very physical game on the Quakers' home turf. North was up by four points at the half, but the Quakers caught up and quickly moved ahead. The Skippers were able to tie the game with minutes to go and then score their thirteenth goal for the win. A timeout was called with only six seconds remaining on the clock, but North was able to keep the ball at their end of the field to win the game.

Senior captain Sydney Ferguson is one of the top scorers for the Skippers this year. Ferguson is one of 10 seniors returning to the team- all hoping to dethrone reigning champion Barrington this season. Senior captain Sydney Ferguson is one of the top scorers for the Skippers this year. Ferguson is one of 10 seniors returning to the team- all hoping to dethrone reigning champion Barrington this season. Junior Taylor Bastien scored eight goals, islander Sydney Ferguson scored three and senior Becca Tiernan scored one. The winning goal was scored by senior Emily MacMillan with an assist from Bastien.

"Moses Brown was a big win. We didn't know what to expect going in. We just came out to win," Higgins said.

"Moses Brown was our biggest challenge and was our first league game, but we won, which was pretty exciting because they just switched to Division I and they are a very well-groomed team. They were in the private school league and playing schools from Mass. and all over last year," Ferguson said. Barrington lost their All-American and a lot of seniors so North was hoping they were beatable, she added.

Following the Moses Brown win, North beat Portsmouth at home on April 11 by a score of 8- 6. Portsmouth came out looking stronger than last season and the game proved to be another physical one. North had solid coverage throughout the team and was able to possess the ball to easily win the game.

The Skippers have a talented squad although they lost a lot of key players to graduation. However, they have replaced them with 10 seniors, including cocaptains and Jamestown residents Ferguson and Ashley Smith. The other co-captain is Carol Records of North Kingstown.

Higgins is happy with the way the team is playing together and said, "They (Ferguson and Smith) are both doing well and they have stepped up. With Ashley on defense and Syd on offense, they complement each other."

"At the beginning of the season I wasn't sure it was going to work out because we lost a lot of seniors and we had no goalie at the time. Everyone was kind of flustered, but we have really come together and we have meshed really well," Ferguson said. She added that senior Abby Palmer of North Kingstown is filling in at the goalie position and said, "She has never played that position before and apparently she loves it so we really lucked out."

When asked about a possible re-match against Barrington in the finals, Higgins said, "That is a long way off; we are just taking one game at a time."

Barrington is now 2-1 and North Kingstown is 3-0.

Looking ahead, Ferguson and Bastien were recently picked to play on an Under-19 U.S.A. team to play in Prague in July.

The Skippers travel to Providence to take on La Salle Academy tomorrow, Friday, at 4 p.m.

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