Urbana girls lacrosse stays in stride, strolls into state semifinals

by Ryan


Jun. 16—URBANA — To keep in shape for their main sport, Urbana girls lacrosse players Natalie Voorhees and Kasey Beach ran sprints for their school’s indoor track team.

“It was nice to have a fellow lacrosse player with me at all times,” Voorhees said.

Granted, indoor track season was brief, thanks to a late start caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But this spring, Voorhees has been getting to spend more time than ever with her fellow Urbana lacrosse players.

Continuing their longest postseason run in 16 years, the Hawks rolled to a 21-1 win over Chesapeake Anne Arundel in the Class 3A state quarterfinals on Tuesday in the completion of a game that was suspended by weather on Monday.

Urbana (11-0) advances to the state semifinals for the first time since 2005. The Hawks will host C.M. Wright — a 14-10 winner over Towson in another quarterfinal — on Wednesday.

“This is the first time anyone on our team has gone this far in playoffs,” Voorhees said. “It’s nerve wracking and exciting at the same time.”

There wasn’t much for the Hawks to be nervous about on Tuesday. They held a 12-1 lead when play resumed with 3 minutes, 31 seconds left in the first half. Still, they looked to maintain the level of play that has helped them thrive all season.

“Honestly, they’re just so grateful to get another day to play together. … Like, ‘OK, this is another chance to play on Legacy Field, let’s enjoy it, let’s finish strong,'” Hawks coach Ann Lewis said. “We went out pretending it was still 0-0, so we had to win today to move on to tomorrow.”

As usual, Urbana’s spread-the-wealth offense featured plenty of picks and passing. One of the finest plays came Monday night, when Voorhees fired a left to right pass to Avery Hines, who caught the ball in stride and quickly fired it into the net.

“They find each other,” Lewis said. “The connections they’ve made over this short period is pretty impressive to me.”

Of course, Hines and Voorhees — along with fellow senior defender Jadelyn Coleman — are Division I bound players who have been playing lacrosse together since they were little kids.

“Our chemistry has always been there,” said Voorhees, who finished with six goals and five assists. “But it’s kind of crazy to see how the rest of our players, the chemistry is the same.”

One of those players is Beach, a junior who has committed to play lacrosse at the University of Richmond. One of her five goals came on a pass from Voorhees, who drew a defender toward her on the right side before firing a pass to Beach in the middle of the field.

“It’s kind of a rare team we play on. We’re a very unselfish team,” Voorhees said. “We’re always looking for the open player, playing great with each other. Even if we’re not getting the assists, we’re picking and helping each other, so we’ll finally get a point at the end of this.”

Beach epitomizes that kind of play.

“The thing that I love about her is her selfless play,” Lewis said. “A lot of times, you won’t always see her in the stat book because she boxes out to get her teammate the ball. She’s just a workhorse.”

Beach said as a freshman, older players took her under their wings. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why she was quick to mention the fine play of current Urbana freshmen Paige White, Cameron Johnson and Reagan McKenney.

“We have three freshmen on this team, and all three of them are strong assets on our offense,” she said. “And I trust everyone with the ball.”

Like her teammates, this will be Beach’s first foray into the state lacrosse semifinals. She does have experience making a deep postseason run, though — she played for an Urbana girls field hockey team that reached the state championship game in 2019.

And in between field hockey and lacrosse, Beach squeezed in time with Urbana’s indoor track and field team, a talent-laden group that helped push Beach.

“They make me so much better because those girls are freakishly fast,” she said. “In practice, it’s constantly a mental battle, like just trying to keep up with them.”

Such offseason work only helps the Hawks as they look to continue their most successful season in recent memory.

“We were trying to better ourselves every day,” Voorhees said. “So when we did step on the field for the first time, we just went full force in, and it was like we never left.”

Hines had five goals and three assists. Reagan McMahan had one goal and two assists. Johnson had two goals, and Kiera Breisch and McKenney each had one goal. Coleman had five ground balls, while Voorhees and Sofia Cedrone each had four. Goalie Emma Regan had three saves.



Source link

Related Articles