by Bob San
SUN PRESS Newspapers
It’s good news and bad news for the Osseo/Park Center girls’ lacrosse team when practice opens this spring.
The good news is that the team welcomes back all its starters from last year. The bad news is that they are still a very young team plus they lost their top goalie for the season because of an injury.
“The team has been/still is fairly young, which can be a strength and weakness,” said OCP coach Alison Jennings. “They have been growing together as a team, which will hopefully show this season. All of our starters are back minus Maddy Kuras, who is out for the season due to an injury.”
Top returning players are senior midfield Madi Malone and senior attacks Arainna Marciniak, Shaina Perro and Emily Magner.
“Madi is fast, is great on the draw and quick in the transitions,” Jennings said. “She is a great leader on and off the field. She is a captain for the second year. This will be Emily’s third year playing. She is great at finding that open space on the field and also feeding/assisting people for goals. She is one of our captains for the year and is also a great leader on and off the field. Arainna is great around the crease for us, not to mention she’s a lefty, which is helpful to have in the attacking end. She’s great at seeing the empty net when shooting. She will be playing Division III at Augsburg College next year. She is one of our senior captains. Shaina has a great field awareness on the attacking end. She is able to find the back of the net and has really improved over the past few years.”
Also back are freshman midfield Margot Coomes and sophomore midfield Erica Edstrom.
“Margot has been playing since she was a seventh grader and has been improving tremendously each year,” Jennings said. “She is great on the draw and is able to come up with it for us. She also has a great shot and is able to find the back of the net. Erica is a great player who is able to step up and play where we need her depending on what team we are playing.”
Other returning starters/letterwinners are Sam Bretcht, Tatum Manning, Andi Carline, Ellen Grabinski, Grace Tait, Arianna Jones and Hannah Foote.
Junior goalie and captain Maddy Kuras, who has verbally committed to playing at Division I University of Vermont, would have given OPC a solid final line of defense but she is out for the season after having shoulder surgery.
“Having Maddy out for the season will be tough,” Jennings said. “She has been a brick wall for us in goal over the past few seasons. She’s very vocal which helps with the defense and comes up with big saves during games. Alison Christianson, who is also a great goalie, will be in goal for us this season.”
Jennings looks for Armstrong, Elk River, Maple Grove and Champlin Park to be the top teams in the conference. She feels her squad should be improved and much more competitive this spring.
“I believe with so many returners coming back we could start to take this program to the next level,” she said. “I’m hoping this season we can really get our transitions down. We struggled a little bit with them last season.”
Contact Bob San at [email protected]