For several years, Mark Mozier has helped high school lacrosse players get recruited, and he is also involved with club programs through Crofton-based Uproar Lacrosse.
A few years ago Mozier hired as head coach at St. Vincent Pallotti High and he is now in his fourth season as the girls' varsity lacrosse coach.
The Panthers had a strong season last year and this season won eight straight games before losing beck-to-back game to IAAM C Conference foes Concordia Prep, 11-10, on April 10 and 20-7 to Catholic on April 11.
Pallotti got back on a win streak with victories over Oldfields, 19-7, and Seton Keough, 14-13, and improved to 8-2 in the conference and 10-2 overall.
They are currently in first place in the Red Division of the C Conference.
Catholic (11-0) is in first place in the Gold Division.
"We did well last year," said Mozier, who grew up in Prince George's County and graduated from Crossland High School. "The difference was we lost seven games by one goal and two games by two goals [last year]. This year, we are winning those games."
The Panthers are paced by Jordan Shughrue, who has been the leading scorer in the area for most of this season. She had 61 goals and six assists in games through April 10.
"She is our number one player. She has lofty goals; she wants to score 175 goals this year. She is not only a goal scorer but helps with assists," Mozier said.
"I think it is how much she practices," sophomore goalie Alexandra Eurbanks said of the success of Shughrue. "Jordan is the most helpful with passing to [other] players."
Shughrue said team depth has been a key this year.
"Communication has been better. The girls have stepped up with better communication on the field," she said. "Three or five girls are scoring each game instead of one or two last year. That makes a big difference."
The Laurel resident says the Panthers have a good chance to compete for the conference title.
"There are still some things we need to work on," she said. "We need to learn as a team."
She plans to play next season at Division II Mount Olive in North Carolina. "She wanted to go where she would play and make a difference," Mozier said.
Another key player is defender Madison Hannon, a former goalie who plans to play at Division III Randolph in Virginia next season.
"She is one of my captains," Mozier said. "She decided we needed help on defense. She decided to play defense this year, which was a huge thing for us."
Another Pallotti product already playing at Randolph is Laurel resident Tyrah Cobb-Davis, a sophomore attacker who played in 12 of the first 13 games and had two goals and three assists.
A top defender for Pallotti this season is Kristina Randazzo, a senior who is headed to Division II Erskine College in South Carolina. "She is one of our captains. She was a midfielder last year but we put her on defense," Mozier said.
Other top players are Caroline Falcone, who had 19 goals, and Quai Skeet-Ridley, who had 22 goals and nine assists. Nicole Gore added four goals.
The main goalie for the Panthers is Eubanks, a Bowie resident who split time in goal last year as a freshman. She had 95 saves in the first 10 games this season.
"I feel like the team as a whole is more united than we were last year," she said. "We are playing a lot more aggressive than we were last year."
Eubanks feels two of the teams to beat in the conference are Catholic and Concordia Prep. "It is a pretty tough league," said Eubanks, who began playing goalie about five years under Mozier with a youth program in Crofton.