The Golden Bears are continuing to try to maintain their place among the state elite this season with a 4-4 overall record and a 3-1 mark in Area 1AAAAA-A.
Holy Innocents’ has certainly been challenged in a tough early season schedule in which six of its eight opponents were state playoff teams a year ago.
“We’ve had some really great games,” Holy Innocents’ coach Julie LaFramboise said. “We’ve got a lot of talent. We’re essentially a [Class] A school playing against some of the really big schools — AAAA and AAAAA schools. We hang tough with them and we put all of our heart into it. I’m happy with the season and I’m looking forward to the rest of it.”
HIES features a strong veteran squad — with seven seniors on its roster — as well as a sturdy defense that has given up about nine goals a game.
“Right now, our defense is on fire,” LaFramboise said. “Our defense has a lot of seniors.”
Seniors defenders Emily Mace and Madison McNeil and senior goalkeeper Clara Forrestal lead the way for Holy Innocents’ defensively, while senior midfielder Annie Bennett, senior attack Mary Martin Shook and junior attack Claire Kelsey spearhead the Golden Bear offense.
“We are a very balanced team,” LaFramboise said. “They’ve all been playing together for so long. They’re good teammates, but good friends off the field as well.”
Holy Innocents’ faces a tough challenge in its quest to return to the state playoffs after not qualifying for the postseason in 2013.
The Bears compete in a competitive 1AAAAA-A which includes last year’s A-AAAAA runner-up McIntosh as well as traditional state powerhouses Woodward and Starr’s Mill.
“We’ve set our goals high,” LaFramboise said. “I feel like this team has the ability to play at a high level to achieve their goals. It’s just a matter of making it happen. It’s a process of coming to practice every day, putting the hours in and winning the games to make those goals happen. I believe wholeheartedly that we have the ability to perform well.
“Lacrosse is unique in that our classification is Classes A through AAAAA. So, we’ll do the best we can with the smaller student body that we have and the athletes we can get out on the field. Going up against the McIntoshes and Starr’s Mills in our area is a big challenge. A couple of years ago, that wasn’t the area we played in. I’m not saying we can’t do it, but it’s going to be tough for us.”