Lady Bighorns lacrosse off to hot start
Something special is brewing at Oasis Academy this spring.
The Lady Bighorns lacrosse team is off to a 4-0 start that includes a defining victory over Galena, which had not lost a league game in the last three years.
Not bad for a program now in its second year after posting a 10-6 record under Lisa Swan and assistants Scott Swan and Ty Young.
“We were the young team in the league and we made the playoffs,” Lisa Swan said.
Swan returns most of last year’s team, which is off to a fast start.
Junior Kenna Hamlin (middle) leads the returners, followed by sophomores Jaidyn Delgado (attack), Kate Dunkin (goalie), Emily Richards (defense), Brooklynn Whitaker (attack) and Ellie Williams (defense). Freshmen who played last year as eighth graders include Taryn Barrenchea (middle), Maci Cooper (attack), Meeka Erwin (attack, middle), Madelyn Mikulak (defense, middle), Sadie O’Flaherty (middle), Aubrey Renfroe (attack) and KaiLena Vasquez (middle). Eighth-grader Maiya Swan (middle) also returns.
New to the team are seniors Bethany Avalos (defense) and Sidney Pascale (defense); junior Yamile Stark (defense); sophomore Alanna Muir (defense); and eighth-graders Jaylee McEwen (middle) and Bella Leal (middle).
Swan said Dunkin is new at goalie but her footwork and quick flexes helped earned her the job and it’s already showing in Fallon’s four wins this season. Swan also noticed Maiya Swan, Whitaker, O’Flaherty and Williams as being key contributors, as well.
“(Maiya) has amazing game awareness with great defensive and offensive skills,” coach Swan added. “(Ellie) improved her speed and stick skills over our offseason and is a huge asset to our defense this year.”
Swan also expects Dunkin, Mikulak and O’Flaherty to lead the team this season because of their communication skills and sportsmanship.
“Help teammates overcome adversity with hard work and assist coaches with creating a positive, effort-driven atmosphere to help ensure a growth-focused culture,” Swan said. “All the girls get along. They help and encourage one another to get better.”
Facing a schedule that includes both 3A and 4A schools, Swan’s focus is improving the defense, which struggled last year.
“We need to rework our defense and keep midies fresh by having extra girls in shape with great stick work ready to sub,” Swan said.
She said the teams to watch out for include Bishop Manogue, Truckee/North Tahoe and Galena, which Fallon took down earlier this month, 8-7, in overtime.
“Those teams have a lot of older girls playing with more experience,” Swan said. “For being the youngest team in the league and playing 3A and 4A schools, these Lady Bighorns are doing amazing.”