Season PREVIEW: Oasis Academy girls lacrosse |

Season PREVIEW: Oasis Academy girls lacrosse

Staff report

Oasis Academy freshman Maiya Swan is one of the team's captains this season as the Bighorns hope to qualify for state.
Thomas Ranson / LVN

Head coach and number of years in position: Lisa Swan, three

Assistant coach: Scott Swan

Players, year, position and number of years of experience with the program: Kaitlynn Hanks, senior, attack, one; Nicole Sam, senior, attack, one; Breanna Caitlin, manager, one; Jaidyn Delgado, junior, attack, six; Kate Dunkin, junior, goalie, six; Alanna Muir, junior, defensive, six; Raven Pascael, junior, defense, one; Emily Richards, junior, defense, four; Brooklynn Whitaker, junior, attack, six; Ellie Williams, junior, defense, six; Alia Adams, sophomore, attack, one; Taryn Barrenchea, sophomore, midie, six; Maci Cooper, sophomore, attack, five; Sloan Curtis, sophomore, defense, three; Meeka Erwin, sophomore, attack (manager, out with injury), six; Madelyn Mikulak, sophomore, defense, four; Sadie O’Flaherty, sophomore, midie, six; KaiLena Vasquez, sophomore, defense, five; Bella Leal, freshman, attack, four; Maiya Swan, freshman, midie, six

Previous season’s record: 12-2

Previous season’s postseason results: Lost in first round of playoffs to Truckee

Players to watch out for: Attack players Brooklynn Whitaker, Jaidyn Delgado, Maci Cooper and Bella Leal have worked on quick passes from “X” (behind the goal), crease shots and double-teaming to the restraining line. Midies Taryn Barrenchea, Sadie O’Flaherty and Maiya Swan have worked diligently on their switch to offhand shots, down low and face dodges. They’ve worked hard to learn to push or pull on the draw to get it to go to their teammate and instinctively know how to read the ball. Defensively, Ellie Williams, Emily Richards, Alanna Muir and Madelyn Mikulak are in sync with one another, knowing where to be and have learned how not to draw fouls. Goalie Kate Dunkin is quick on her feet, fast reflexes and is the heart of the team.

What are your team’s goals for the season?: Our team goals are to have better communication, loud enough for each other to hear, and to work diligently on double-teaming the other team and feeling confident with getting out of a double team. We’ve made the playoffs every year. This year we hope to win the Northern Regional title and go to state.

Who are your leaders/captains and what do you expect from them?: Captains are Kate Dunkin, Ellie Williams and Maiya Swan. The team picked these girls because they work hard and persevere, inspire their teammates and always put the team first. As coaches, we expect them to lead by example, direct their teammates on the field in a positive manner and go the extra mile wherever and whenever needed.

What are the team’s strengths?: Our biggest strength is that the core of this team has been playing together for five years. They have become synchronized with their passing and catching and it is so fun to watch. Defense communicates well with each other; they just know where to go and what to do. Offense has been working on more advanced shots on goal, their offhand, high passes and having lots of fun with it. There is no “I” in our team; they work well as a team, sensing where they need to be both on offense and defense.

What are areas to work on?: We need to work on getting all players comfortable with the ball in their stick when they are getting double-teamed. This is a quick way to lose possession so we need girls confident with their cradling skills in order to make a good pass and transition down the field. We also need attack and midies working on more advanced shots on goal so when we are up against a good goalie they are not just playing catch with her.

How does the league look and which teams will be tough to beat?: I think the season will look a lot like last year where Oasis, Bishop Manogue, Galena and Truckee are the top four teams. However, if Reno worked in the off season and didn’t lose any players they may be up there as well.

What does Oasis Academy need to do to make the playoffs, including state?: We need to continue to work great as a team: good communication, double teaming, cutting at the right moment and taking more advanced shots on goal (offhand, behind the back, down low).

What else should everyone know about this team?: Coach Swanee and I couldn’t be more proud of all these girls. It’s not an easy sport to pick up but they have stuck with it, worked hard and it shows. We’ve got some new girls this year that are dedicated and we are excited to have them. It’s going to be a great season.