it was a “magical season” for the girls’ lacrosse team at Jackson Liberty High School this spring.
When asked what were the key takeaways from the season, coach Sarah Hayek’s message was one of pride and accomplishment.
“There’s a lot of firsts,” Hayek said. “The first semifinal state game that we played in. The first time being such a high seed (fourth seed in the state sectional tournament). Winning the [Shore Conference] B South [division]. It was a magical season. The overall chemistry, togetherness, and fighting for each other.”
Jackson Liberty finished the season with a 14-5 record and won the Shore Conference’s B South Division championship.
The Lions wrapped up their season with a 15-4 loss to top-seeded Allentown High School in the Central Jersey, Group 3 state sectional semifinals on May 23 in Allentown.
Senior midfielder Tsering Badushov felt that camaraderie was the key to Jackson Liberty’s success.
“We accomplished so much,” Badushov said. “We worked the harder than ever before. This is the closet we’ve ever been even on and off the field.”
Fellow senior midfielder Danielle Amarrata shared her teammate’s sentiments.
“My biggest takeaway was the love we had for one another,” Amarrata said. “The pride everyone had on this team. Winning B South. Coming to the states. Playing today. It was all great.”
Hayek was excited about next year’s team.
“We have 11 juniors who got great exposure and experience playing in these playoffs and I expect them to bring that experience into next season,” Hayek said. “I expect big things from them. We did lose both our senior goalies so that’s going to be tough. So we gotta find our goalies.”
Hayek touched on her returning star players.
“[Junior] Jade Rivera scored her 100th goal this year,” Hayek said. “Donna Polhemus as well. She’s 23 goals away from hitting the mark. The whole junior team that I have is great. On defense, Lindsay McKenna, Natalie Millemann, and Jillian Capasso. Some of my midfielders, the twins, Hailey and Amber McGee. Like I said, we have the whole squad coming back. We just have to find a goalie.”