One of the good things about a new season is that it provides a fresh start for teams that would like to forget about the previous campaign. Maryvale girls lacrosse coach Jessica Randisi understands.
Maryvale was 1-14 only two years after losing to McDonogh by a goal in the 2012 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game.
"We never really clicked on the field," Randisi said.
The outlook is brighter for 2015 because of a strong senior class that features six college-bound players.
They include Miranda Ibello (Johns Hopkins University), Maggie Huey (High Point), Emma Boris (Roanoke), Amanda Mellendick (Lebanon Valley), Ellie Bockstie (Lindenwood) and Mackenzie Kilduff (Seton Hill).
"This is the best group of athletes I've had," said Randisi, a fourth-year coach who led the Baltimore girls underclassmen to successive championships in the Under Armour Lacrosse Classic. "Most of the girls play many different sports. They are solid athletes who are really working well together. They have a real desire to win and have a chip on their shoulder from last year."
Ibello, a midfielder, is a good place to start to focus on this season. She earned a spot on the 2015 U.S. under-19 women's lacrosse team and had 63 goals and 27 assists last year.
Ibello also won 71 draw controls.
"She works harder than anyone I have coached," Randisi said of the Cockeysville resident. "She rolls to the crease like no one I have seen. She has such a desire to get a goal. If you tell her, 'I need three goals.' She will go out and score three goals. She has an extraordinarily strong shot."
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Starting at midfield with Ibello will be sophomore Annie Milwicz (William & Mary), freshman Celly Arthur and Boris, who moves up from the backline.
The midfield will be feeding an attack of Bockstie, Kilduff and junior Allie Blood (Queens).
"I think our speed is a real strength," Randisi said.
The top Lions' defenders are Huey, Mellendick and junior Jessica Richardson.
"There is much better communication," said Randisi, comparing her defense to last year.
Sophomore Amanda Jenkins starts in goal.
"I think we are going to have a good season," Ibello said. "Our motto this year is resilience. We want to have a bounce back from last year. We are a lot closer team. We really have come together."