As spring sports get underway throughout New England, the lasting impact of this year’s particularly nasty March weather promises to be a recurring talking point.
With field space limited by the piles of snow that lasted much father into the spring season than usual, many local teams were forced to adjust their practice schedules and, oftentimes, were unable to even get outside much.
The expected result? A healthy dose of rust.
While it remains to be seen if the initial impression of Manchester Essex girls lacrosse coach Sarah Holch is correct or not, the Hornets expect the epidemic of rust to pass them over.
With nearly all of their starters returning from last year’s 11-7 squad that reached the Division 2 North quarterfinals and the good fortune of having the turf of Hyland Field to practice on throughout the snowy season, Holch is expecting her squad to come flying out of the gates -- a trend that began with yesterday’s 17-5 thrashing of Winthrop in the season opener.
“We only lost that one snow day,” Holch said. “After that, we had part of the turf field plowed by the maintenance guys so we were able to get out there quite a bit. I think we’re doing really well.”
To extend the advantage that the Hornets appear to have over much of their competition, Holch said her veteran squad showed up ready to go. Behind senior captains Carolyn Heslop and Olivia Mastendino, the Hornets have been sharp from day one, allowing them to focus on the more detailed aspects of their strategy rather than devoting the early parts of the season to the basics.
“The girls came ready to play, so we haven’t had to work stick skills and all that,” Holch said. “We’ve been able to jump right in. We’ve had a couple of scrimmages and everyone looks really good. I’ve got a lot of returning players, so that helps a lot.”