Heading into spring break this week, the uber-talented Eagles were 6-1 overall, a perfect 4-0 against in-state competition and holding their own nationally against some of the country’s best teams.
“We’ve come out strong so far,” said Milton lacrosse coach Tim Godby. “We beat the state champions from Tennessee (Hutchison, 20-10); the team that had been No. 1 in the south for the last seven years (Vero Beach-FL, 14-13) and we played the No. 1 program in the country (McDonogh-MD, 8-11) closer than anyone has in the last three years.
“We lost seven starters from a great team last year so we had holes to fill, but we also had some of our best players back and a lot of young talent filling in those gaps.”
Leading the returners from the 2012 state championship team are talented attackers Annie Ruland and Lydia Cassada, a pair of four year starters at the top of Milton’s offense.
Melissa Teel and Kristin Ridenour, both seniors, returned to anchor the Milton defense along with first-year goalie Caroline Youngs while the midfield has seen six different players give key contributions — Mackenzie Lech, Annie Shenk, Hannah Davis, Emma Harden, Claire Smith and Maggie Degnan.
“You always have a new group of girls coming in, but this group in particularly has been focused and motivated to work hard and continue the success that we have had here,” said the Milton coach.
“This is a highly motivated and highly talented group that has played very well so far.”
Milton’s stellar start includes dominating wins over area schools North Cobb, Woodstock and Etowah along with a 19-11 win against Walton — the No. 3 ranked team in Class AAAAAA.
The Lady Eagles currently sit in first place in 3AAAAAA at 4-0, but won’t have their next area game until travel to play two-time state runner-up Roswell on April 19.
Instead, Godby’s team will continue their stretch of out-of-state competition over the next two weeks, traveling to the greater Washington area for four games this weekend then hosting schools from Colorado, Florida and D.C. in the Legacy Cup next week.
“We’re still riding the momentum from our big win over Vero Beach and hope to continue it in some big games the next two weeks, playing top 10 teams Georgetown Visitation (D.C.), Good Counsel (Md.) and others before we get to that Roswell game,” said Godby.
“It’s a tough stretch the rest of the way but we have a tough team and are excited for it.”