Polytech girls’ lax takes big leap in second season
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 02:59:05 AM by
By Andy Walter
Delaware State News
Lynn Richardson was already pretty optimistic about her fledgling Polytech High girls’ lacrosse team when the season started.
But she felt even better about the Panthers after they rallied in the closing minutes to edge Middletown, 12-11, in their opener.
"To me, it was a pleasant surprise," said Richardson. "I think that kind of jump started our season. It was like, ‘Wow, we might be better than what we thought.’"
Richardson was right.
In just its second season of fielding a varsity program, Polytech finished 13-2. The Panthers won their first eight games of the year before losing to highly-regarded Worcester Prep and Sussex Tech down the stretch.
Polytech’s strength of schedule wasn’t good enough to earn it a spot in the DIAA state tournament, which takes just eight teams.
The Panthers were actually eighth by the tourney points system. Ironically, though, Middletown — which trailed both Polytech and Caesar Rodney — earned an automatic bid as the Blue Hen Conference champion to take the final spot.
Richardson knew that’s the way the bracket was going to play out after the Panthers closed the season with a 13-6 loss to Sussex Tech. There was still some disappointment among her players, though.
"They were disappointed because they knew we had a good season," said Richardson. "But they were also realistic that, ‘Oh my gosh, if we’re number eight, we’re playing Cape or if we’re number seven and we’re playing somebody else.’ I said at the beginning of the season, we know we have to strengthen our schedule in the future.
"I think we had the right schedule for where we were as far as growing the program."
So while Polytech graduates eight seniors, Richardson feels good about where the program is heading. Only a few of the Panthers had even played the sport before high school.
"I think what we were able to do was just get a group of athletes involved in something in the spring that they haven’t really tried before," she said. "We’re starting to make them lacrosse players."