Howard County, MD — Wilde Lake girls lacrosse coach Michael Rhodovi joined the program as the junior varsity coach in 2015, the same time most of his current seniors were freshmen. And over the past four years, he's had the pleasure of watching Katie Aubin, Nicole Blair, Maddie Ives and Elana Orzach develop into varsity contributors.
Before this season, Rhodovi welcomed the team's fifth senior: first-year lacrosse player Sarah Spall.
"They know how I coach, they've been with me the whole time, and they've helped with the younger class," he said. "They're a special group of girls. It's going to be tough not having them next year."
Wilde Lake celebrated their seniors' contributions before Thursday's game against Oakland Mills, and the underclassmen continued to honor their veteran teammates by combining for another winning effort. With their 16-2 victory over the Scorpions, the Wildecats have now won three straight since dropping their first eight contests to start the season.
"In the past, we've had some pretty tough games," Aubin said. "But tonight, and especially these past three days, we've come together as a team."
All three of Wilde Lake's wins have come in the past week, starting with Aubin's 10-goal performance in a 15-11 victory over Long Reach on Monday. Two days later, Aubin scored six times to help the Wildcats (2-3 county, 3-8 overall) secure a 12-8 result at Glen Burnie.
Aubin's offensive production Thursday fell right in between those two previous efforts. The senior midfielder opened the scoring 11 seconds into the contest and ended up notching the game's first four goals, all within the opening seven minutes. In the first half alone, she found the back of the net on seven occasions, carrying the Wildecats to an 11-1 lead at the break.
"I don't know, I've kind of been on a streak," Aubin said about her recent scoring barrage. "Definitely, I've had a lot of great feeds from my teammates."
Aubin finished with eight goals, but she was far from the only Wildecats player to etch her name into the scoring column. Freshman Josie Pittman, whom Aubin called "amazing" in the draw circle and attacking the goal, notched a hat trick, while junior defender Autumn Weinig scored twice. Ives also had a goal playing in her final high school home game.
"They're putting the time in," Rhodovi said, "and that's been the biggest thing; just to watch them grow and develop."
As for the Oakland Mills, which received goals from Kelly Claxton and Hannah Smelkinson, coach Davia Williams has been pleased with the development of her team this season, even if it has not translated to victories.
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The Scorpions (0-3, 1-8) have grown "leaps and bounds" from the beginning of the season, Williams said. Her players have started to work more as a unit, both offensively and defensively, instead of trying to make an impact individually.
Oakland Mills will close the season with games against Long Reach, Hammond and Lansdowne.
"Now we're working together, we're passing, we're passing in transition, we're not just running the ball up," Williams said. "And then defensively as a unit, we're able to pressure a little bit but still support each other and call some different defenses."
Wilde Lake (2-3 county, 3-8 overall) — 16, Oakland Mills (0-3, 1-8) — 2
Goals: WL — Katie Aubin 8, Josie Pittman 3, Autumn Weinig 2, Aliyah Hodges, Maddie Ives, Gabby Michael; OM — Kelly Claxton, Hannah Smelkinson.
Saves: WL — Laura McHale 6; OM — Alex Sellman 6.
Halftime: 11-1, Wilde Lake