The Northwest girls lacrosse team went into Gaithersburg High School on Saturday, May 11 with hopes of continuing their run through the Division 4A West Playoffs. The girls were coming off a win over Clarksburg, but they knew that the 13-1 Gaithersburg Trojans would be a difficult out.
And they were, but what many folks may not have anticipated this season was how difficult an out, the Northwest Lady Jaguars were. Coming off of a 2-11 season last year, many teams were not looking for the Jags to make it out of the opening round of the playoffs. Gaithersburg ultimately defeated the Jags 10-8, but not without a fight.
The Jags got goals from five different goals, including two each from senior Kaite Kim, and juniors Katie Palmiere and Kelly Miller. Junior Madeline Gerardi added one goal and freshman stand-out Julia Brock added another. Miller would also be credited with two assists on goals.
The Jags would end their season at 6-8, with a playoff win, but Coach Holly Johnson has seen much improvement from last year’s 2-11 season
“Over all it was an amazing season,” said Johnson. “I think last year they were still getting used to the way I coached and the way I wanted the game to be played out on the field, and this year they really took the concepts and ran with it.”
Johnson said the coaching staff and the team tried to focus more stick skills this season, while last year the focus was more on conditioning. “That paid off tremendously. The girls really seemed to click on the field, knowing exactly where to be at the right time for each other. Communication was much better on defense and I think that was the major difference in this season and last.”
Northwest will lose six girls to graduation and look to come back with a strong crop of rising seniors for next season. “We are losing some of our strongest members of the team, but I have no doubt that the girls that are coming back will be able to fill their shoes,” said Johnson.
“We still have our top scores coming back for their senior year (Katie Palmiere and Kelly Miller), along with Madeline Gerardi and Julia Brock, who is a freshman, to run the Midfield, and Brooke Wallmark to take charge of the Defense.”
Photo courtesy Northwest High School Athletics.