The Kingston High School girls’ varsity lacrosse team lost its first game of the season nearly a month ago, but ever since they’ve gone on one of the program’s customary campaigns of devastation, winning every game and reminding the league that the season lasts a long time.
Let’s get the unpleasantness out of the way first: On Wednesday, May 30, Kingston lost its season opener 14-2, falling to a non-league Arlington team they haven’t had much difficulty with in recent years. Kingston Coach Deb Eaton said the loss saw the Tigers fail to gel as quickly as they should have to open the season.
“The fact is we have 11 brand new kids on varsity and we needed a little bit more time to come together,” she said. The defeat wasn’t so much a wakeup call as an anomaly, and a pair of home wins over the past week by a combined score of 29-4 proved the Tigers have roared back with a vengeance.
On Tuesday, April 14, Kingston crushed Red Hook 12-1, despite what Eaton described as “relentless” defense from their opponent. Senior star Logan Brennan amassed six goals and an assist, crossing the 300-career goals threshold in the process.
Meghan Gavis (2 goals), Cameron Letus (2 goals), Grace Gavis (goal, assist), Olivia Prizzi (goal) and Kendall Parker (assist) all contributed to the Kingston offense. The Tigers had 20 shots on goal in the win, and controlled 29 ground balls. Hanna Kremper had nine saves in goal to help keep Red Hook at bay.
Four days later, Kingston hosted Valley Central, winning 17-3 and improving to 4-1 on the season, with a perfect 2-0 record against Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association opponents. The Tigers were up 13-0 at the half. It was Valley Central’s first loss of the year.
“To be honest, I cleared the bench and kept rotating players in and out,” Eaton said. “Everyone got a lot of playing time. The three goals that were scored in the second half were scored on a JV goalie (Lanasia Dorsey) that I’d brought up so she could experience varsity play. I put her in in the second half. It was interesting for her. It’s great to be able to give all those girls the experience.”
The constantly changing lineup also meant 10 different players were involved in scoring for the Tigers, with Brennan’s five goal, two assist night leading the pack. Grace Gavis (3 goals, assist), Parker (3 goals), Meghan Gavis (goal, assist), Bailey Jordan (goal, assist), Paige Kowal (goal, assist), Makenna Sepesi (goal), Riley Fitzgerald (goal), Olivia Prizzi (goal), and Analiese Amato (assist) also pitching in. Kingston had 35 shots on goal and controlled 26 ground balls. Kremper had three saves in the first half in goal.
Eaton said having so many players involved in the offense was good for the Tigers.
“First of all, it’s excellent for team morale,” she said. “Everyone’s excited about being productive during the game. They’re all contributing, and everyone feels good about that. And for the future, it’s tough for the other teams because they look at our stats to see who’s scoring to try and figure out who to mark up.”
Eaton added that while the pieces didn’t fit together back in late March, the team’s youth movement has been successful for the team.
“The new kids have brought a lot into the program and it’s just exciting to get them all together now,” she said, adding that many of them got their start well before they hit high school.
“The Port Ewen Athletic Association is basically our feeder program,” Eaton said, mentioning a program that includes teams for girls from kindergarten up through the 8th grade. “They’ve got a clinic coming up, and they’ve got like 19 little girls in the 4-5 ages group going to this clinic. That’s unheard of. And the numbers are increasing as they go up in grades and ages brackets. It’s awesome for the program. I just wish they’d started it 15 years ago.”
After a lengthy run of home games, the Tigers hit the road this week, facing off against Middletown on Wednesday, April 20 after the Kingston Times went to press. They’ll travel to Pine Bush on Tuesday, April 26 before returning to Dietz Stadium the following day to host Monroe-Woodbury.