While losing eight starters from last year’s Class AAAAAA championship team, the Eagles appear to be reloading instead of rebuilding as the 2014 season gets underway.
Milton seems to have picked up where it left off once again with a 3-0 start, outscoring its opponents 63-4 in the process.
“I am happy with how the season has gone so far,” Milton coach Tim Godby said. “The girls are playing well. We have a lot of new players on the team this year and they’re blending in well with the veterans we have. Our older players are doing a good job, working hard and setting the tone in practice and we haven’t played the type of competition that we’ll be facing from this point and it will be interesting to see how we’ll respond. But the way we’re performing in practice, I feel good about our season and how we’ll do this year.”
Milton has maintained its lofty perch as the top-ranked team in the South and the 10th-ranked team in the Nike/US Lacrosse pre-season poll.
“It’s a lot of things that has contributed to our success,” Godby said. “We’ve had good talent and players who are really motivated. Early on, when I started in 2005, we had some success and it’s carried over from year to year into the youth program and people really want to be a part of it. People commit to playing together and working hard to get better. It goes with the thing that success breeds success and that’s held true for our program over the past decade.”
Milton features eight players who have either signed with or have committed to NCAA Division I schools – senior midfielder Mackenzie Lech (San Diego State), senior midfielder/defender Emma Harden (Virginia Tech), junior midfielder/defender Hannah Davis (Vanderbilt), junior attackers Gracie Peterson (Jacksonville), Taylor Catts (Kennesaw State) and Maddie Langley (UC-Davis), sophomore midfielder/defender Claire Smith (Northwestern) and sophomore attacker Jessie Masinko (Notre Dame).
Before focusing on a possible ninth state title, the Eagles will have to get through a tough Area 2AAAAAA that includes Lassiter – the team Milton beat in the state finals last year – as well as state semifinalist Walton.
“Our area is definitely the toughest in the state,” Godby said. “Three of the top teams in the state are from our area and you can say that Roswell is in the top five as well as well.”