Westford Academy Girls’ Lacrosse suffers defeat against Lincoln-Sudbury

Anushka Patil, News Editor

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On Thursday, April 25, Westford Academy’s Girls Varsity Lacrosse was defeated in a tough game against Lincoln-Sudbury, with a score of 11-16. Although WA ended up losing the game, the team put up a fight, using their strategies and teamwork to attempt to beat Lincoln-Sudbury. The game was important because it helped bring awareness to student’s mental health.

With the start of the first half, Westford Academy came onto the field with strong offensive skills. The team passed to ball around consistently without losing the ball to their opponents. However, Lincoln-Sudbury had a powerful defense that protected their goal, not allowing for Westford Academy to score.

Lincoln-Sudbury scored the first two points of the game, but shortly after, #13, senior Kaitlyn Cullen, scored the first point of the game for Westford Academy.

As the game progressed, Westford Academy’s defense began to falter Lincoln-Sudbury was able to score four consecutive goals before Westford Academy stepped up their game. However, Lincoln-Sudbury was still able to dominate the first half.

Prominent players during the first half were #2, senior Morgan Freud, who scored twice for Westford Academy, #34, senior Mary Cadogan, who played a strong offense, and #14, freshman Kendall Donovan, who made a close goal and played solid defense by preventing the ball from reaching the net.

The first half concluded after #21, sophomore Sophia Esteves, scored the last goal, making the score 5-12. Lincoln-Sudbury was in the lead.

Starting off the second half, it was apparent that Westford Academy was trying to make a comeback. Before Lincoln-Sudbury could score, Freud scored the first goal of the second half, and shortly after, Cullen scored another goal.

Throughout the second half, Westford Academy battled their opponents harder than they had during the first half. The peak of Westford Academy’s playing came around the middle of the second half. Westford Academy stepped up both their defense and offense, allowing Freud and Cadogan to score. The defense was played well by #11, senior Meaghan McGee, who stole the ball repeatedly, and #7, junior Claudia Oakleaf, who blocked Lincoln-Sudbury from passing the ball. 

As the game was coming to a conclusion, Lincoln-Sudbury was able to score a few more goals, but not as many as the first half due to Westford Academy’s defense. The last goal of the game for Westford Academy was scored by #5, junior Nicole O’Neil.

In the end, Donovan felt that Westford Academy pushed hard throughout the entire game.

“Our team played a great game. Everyone fought hard until the end and I am proud of everyone for not giving up. The game was for mental health awareness and there was a very moving ceremony after our game ended, ” Donovan said.

Aside from Donovan, Head Coach Julie Olivier felt that the team gave it their all, even if they were not able to win.

“I thought the girls fought with the true Grey Ghost spirit of never giving up. They were 110% all the way to the end. It was a true team play. Every single person was on the field today and contributed to an outstanding performance by [Westford Academy] against a very strong opponent,” Olivier said.

Since the theme of the game was mental health, Westford Academy wore white shirts with the green mental health symbol written upon them. The girls’ team tied green ribbons in their hair to show their support for mental health awareness.

The goal of the night was to fight the stigma around mental health. Right after the girls’ team played, a ceremony was held. The ceremony included most of the spring varsity teams at Westford Academy, such as softball, baseball, and lacrosse. All the teams linked arms and walked across the field. Once across, one member from each of the teams released a green balloon. The purpose of this was to show mental health awareness as an open topic.

Students who had come to the game to cheer on their friends loved how mental health was approached. Freshman Jessica Park was thrilled that Westford Academy was trying to face the problem of mental health.

“So many students at Westford Academy are struggling with poor mental health, but it is not spoken out about. I feel like this outreach by Westford Academy really helps students share their emotions,” Park said.