After finishing last season 2-11, the Pilgrim girls lacrosse team was determined to change things in 2019 after making the move to Division III.
The Lady Pats did not disappoint, as they finished the regular season at 10-3, then topped visiting Ponaganset 9-5 in the quarterfinals on Monday evening.
“It’s huge. This has been a completely different season especially considering last year. If anything, it was momentum and a confidence booster making it to the semifinals. From the beginning of the year, we have been saying that this is our year if we want it. They have worked so hard this year and now we get an opportunity to show why we work so hard,” said Pilgrim coach Jess McCaughey.
Alyssa Giguere led the Pats with three goals and an assist, while Lydia Ramsden added a trio of goals as well. Lila Giguere added a pair of goals while Olivia Paquet chipped in another as well as two assists. Alyssa Peixinho added an assist in the win, while goalie Abby Magiera recorded 15 saves.
Although some may be surprised at Pilgrim’s quick turnaround, McCaughey knew that her team had the chemistry and work ethic to get it done.
“I was expecting it. Our team has been solid all year and we have an attitude that if we work hard then we can go a far as we want. There have been times when the girls have really stepped up and proven that they can handle high pressure (situations) and I have been very proud of how well they’ve executed so far,” said McCaughey, who also feels that the mix of older and younger kids has served the Pats well. “It’s been lead by example for the upper classmen and coach ability for the underclassmen. (Against Ponaganset) we had girls like Lydia Ramsden step up and they aren’t even our leading scorers. It’s been great to see so many kids step up.”
The Pats took on Rocky Hill on Wednesday evening in the semis, but the results were not available at press time. Win or lose, McCaughey is proud of the club’s mental toughness, and is excited to see a new culture being built for the future of Pilgrim lacrosse.
“They’re confident in a humble way. They know that they are capable but at the same time they don’t take it for granted. They work hard then get rewarded by being a well-executed team,” said McCaughey. “Last year we got used to losing, this year they know that they can win. No one is selfish, and that is why we’re succeeding now. We have a young group and a lot of kids returning, so this should set us up well.”