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The Wingspan

“No one works harder than Centennial athletes”: Girls’ lacrosse ends regular season on note of resiliency

Centennial’s girl’s lacrosse team huddles during a game against Howard on April 24
Credit: Wendy Lin/@windylin_flicks
Centennial’s girl’s lacrosse team huddles during a game against Howard on April 24

“No one works harder than Centennial athletes”: Girls’ Lacrosse Ends Regular Season on Note of Resiliency

To say that Centennial’s girl’s lacrosse team has had a difficult season would be an understatement: the team has suffered injuries to key players this season, including three of the team’s four captains being sidelined for significant portions of the spring. Junior goalie Adria Welsh was out of commission for two months due to a stress fracture from basketball season, senior attacker Yi Su tore her meniscus and sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn McManus suffered a sprained ankle.

McManus, a two-sport athlete who also plays soccer, is used to daily practices, drills and conditioning workouts. When she got injured during the first game of the season, though, that familiarity came to a halt. “I’ve gone my whole entire life playing a sport every day, so it was really hard,” McManus said.

Despite the difficulties of these injuries, the team has made it a priority to keep their head up and focus on the positive. “It has been a great chance for other players to step up, gain confidence and become impact players for us,” said assistant coach Todd Petrlik. 

In fact, McManus thinks that being sidelined for so long has actually helped her game IQ. “It was cool to see a different perspective on the field, ‘cause usually I’m playing and I’m not able to see what everyone else is seeing, but being able to see how the defense is interacting … It’s definitely helping my game coming back,” she noted. 

As an upperclassmen on the team, Welsh made a point to be uplifting on the sidelines. “I supported our team and continued to be positive to help everyone stay … in a good mindset.” 

The community that has been built in the team through daily practices and team bonding events has undoubtedly helped propel them to success this season, winning games against Atholton, Hammond and Wilde Lake and being able to play well against competitive teams in the county such as River Hill and Long Reach. Petrlik notes that although Centennial lost to Long Reach in overtime on April 16, “we came back from a 10-5 deficit in the 3rd quarter.” 

As he looks ahead to the upcoming playoffs, Petrlik remains confident. “We are a team that is improving and ascending at the right time,” he stated. “We hope to continue to improve and gel as a team for our final games of the season and go into the playoffs healthy and at our best.”

Some players to look out for include sophomore midfielder Claire Whipkey, who Petrlik says excels “in all three phases of the game including draw control, scoring goals and being a relentless defender.” Freshman Caroline Cudzilo is the team’s leading goal scorer and has been especially impactful on offense. Senior Maya Avery has also provided leadership for a young defense, and with Welsh and McManus both back on the field, the team is focused on achieving success in playoffs.

McManus is thrilled to get back to playing at a time such as playoffs. “As an individual, I hope I can play to my full potential and just be there,” she said. 

Welsh also noted that “as a team we need to give it our all … not get in our own heads, and play our game that will win us playoffs.”

The team’s first round of playoffs begins Wednesday, May 15 against Oakland Mills at 5 p.m. at Centennial. As a tough regular season ends, the growth that has come out of each setback the team has faced is only adding fuel to their fire going into playoffs. “Everyone has grown so much and it’s really cool seeing that,” McManus said. Going into this next week of games, one thing is for certain: “No one works harder than Centennial athletes,” stated Petrlik.


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About the Contributor
Abby Conrad, Feature Editor