Sussex Academy flying high to start girls’ lax season

Seahawks down North Caroline, Lake Forest in back-to-back games
March 23, 2024

The girls laxing it up at Sussex Academy are off to a red-hot start after defeating North Caroline 12-7 March 21 and Lake Forest 16-0 March 22.

“It feels good getting our season started on the right foot,” senior Callie Short said. “We had moments of greatness in both games, but we have room for improvement. We're excited to make those improvements and come back for our games next week and the rest of the season – we're ready!”

The Seahawks were able to pull away from the Bulldogs March 21, thanks to a six-goal effort from junior Shelby Manlove and two goals apiece from Emiley Bisaha, Ellie Merrick and Short. Bisaha, Manlove and Short picked up an assist each while freshman Liz Layton registered two helpers. The girls kept the momentum to dominate the next day against Lake Forest.

“We've been preparing all preseason long, and we had a game plan and I think we executed it pretty well,” coach Taylor Gibbs said about the March 22 game. “They have some good players on their team, but we were able to pull through on defense and get the shutout.”

Suffocating the Spartans on defense and vacuuming up ground balls in the midfield, the Seahawks made things miserable for the visiting offense. Goalie Morgan Leeper stoned the only shot she faced in a game where her defense seemed impenetrable.

“I think our defense played well in both games,” Short said. “ Kudos to them.”

In stark contrast, the home team’s offense scored early March 21, and often showcased their potent and plentiful weapons. Bisaha led the Seahawks with five goals, sophomore Shea Danahy was second with a hat trick, junior Rilyn Lehman and Merrick each netted two, and Layton, June Hale, Manlove and Short scored a goal apiece.

“We're excited about our offense this season,” Short said. “We have a lot of growth and depth on the bench.”

Short said Gibbs emphasizes that the players should take the smartest option on offense, not always the first one. Bisaha has benefited greatly from the offense early in the season as she and Manlove lead the Seahawks with seven goals apiece.

“We’ve been working on our offense this season, and I think it showed in this game,” Bisaha said.

The junior thinks the wins are a big boost for the team this early in the season.

“This puts us in a really good mindset going into our next games, especially for after spring break,” Bisaha said. “We need to be ready; we have some hard games coming up.”

The Seahawks will play another back-to-back set next week when they travel to Sussex Tech at 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 27, then welcome Kent Island Thursday, March 28. 


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