Northwestern Press

Thursday, May 23, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZNorthwestern’s Sarah Schultz controls the ball during an early-season game against Saucon Valley. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZNorthwestern’s Sarah Schultz controls the ball during an early-season game against Saucon Valley.

Girls lax makes progress during inaugural season

Friday, April 26, 2019 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

Northwestern girls lacrosse head coach Lissa Opolsky has always remained optimistic during her field hockey coaching days. And that hasn’t change in her first season leading the Lady Tigers’ girls lacrosse program.

Opolsky and the Tigers expected the 2019 spring season to be a challenging one, considering the fact the sport has only been around at the youth level for a few years in New Tripoli. Despite the losses on the field, including a tough stretch as of late, Northwestern is improving in certain aspects.

“We are working on taking some things we do in practice and implementing them into the games,” Opolsky said. “From the steps we are taking, we are making some progress forward. Although it is difficult to see when playing tough opponents, the girls have stayed positive and are working to learn more and more.”

The Lady Tigers are coming off tough losses against Southern Lehigh, Pleasant Valley and Moravian Academy in mid-April. The common theme in those losses was Northwestern’s inability to generate enough offense to keep up with opponents.

After Southern Lehigh doubled-up the Lady Tigers 14-7, Northwestern allowed 19 goals to Pleasant Valley followed by 15 to Moravian Academy.

“We struggled with taking advantage of offensive opportunities and transitioning to defense,” Opolsky said.

“We expected this to be tough but it doesn’t mean we don’t have goals. We are striving to work on different skills and understanding the game.”

What Opolsky and the Tigers are focusing on most is improving their technique and skills on the field. Consistent practice time will only transfer to real-time game situations.

The Lady Tigers are also largely inexperienced. Many of the them have not picked up a stick before this season, so playing programs that have been around for years puts Northwestern at a disadvantage before the first faceoff is even decided.

Of the 23 varsity players listed on the roster to open the season, Opolsky suited up just three seniors and three juniors. The rest were sophomores and freshmen—a total of 17 players who could have two or three years left to play at the high school level.

“Everyone has done a great job working toward staying together as one unit,” Opolsky said. “We are largely a team of freshmen and sophomores.”

The Tigers dropped Monday’s game against Saucon Valley, 21-2. Northwestern goals were scored by Charlotte Horn and Kate Edger.

Results from Wednesday’s game against Central Catholic were not available at time of press. Northwestern travels to Northampton on Monday for a 4 p.m. start.