Hills girls’ lacrosse: Preseason overview

There is an overarching theme of gratitude this year, as the girls are grateful that they have been allowed to play lacrosse as a team again. 

Pascack Hills vs. Saddle Brook scrimmage on April 16. Hills is in white.

Pascack Hills vs. Saddle Brook scrimmage on April 16. Hills is in white.

The Pascack Hills girls’ lacrosse team has completed three scrimmages so far this school year, and the team is showing signs of a promising season. The girls practice for around two hours, six days a week, and the training has already started to pay off. 

There are only two seniors playing this year, Ryan Glazer and Sylvie Najarian. Both have been playing for Hills since their freshman year. Their experience has proved valuable to the team, whether it be teaching the mechanics of the game to new players or leading on the field.

My goals for this year are honestly to get through the whole season without shutting down and to improve as a team.”

— Ryan Glazer, senior lacrosse player

“My goals for this year are honestly to get through the whole season without shutting down and to improve as a team,” Glazer said in regards to her hopes for her final season at Hills. “I think that the majority of our team is new players, so as long as we work together and communicate well, I really think we can grow and become a strong team,” 

One positive aspect of having a smaller amount of upperclassmen playing this year is that the underclassmen have gotten a chance to experience the game at a more advanced level. In previous years where there has been a multitude of seniors and juniors, it would have been less likely for sophomores or freshmen to play at the varsity level. 

This year, however, things have been a bit different. Several sophomores and even a few freshmen have had the privilege to play up at the varsity level in these past three scrimmages, gaining experience that underclassmen of seasons past did not receive.

The whole team feels a special kind of giddiness and excitement for this season, being that the previous season came to an abrupt end last March due to the pandemic. There is an overarching theme of gratitude this year, as the girls are grateful that they have been allowed to play lacrosse as a team again. 

The team has been very careful to abide by Covid-19 restrictions and regulations this year. The hope is to be able to play a full season without having to quarantine. Masks are worn at all times during practice, and social distancing is in place during water breaks.

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During games, players who take the draw must wear their masks. (A draw is when two players in the center of the field place their sticks back-to-back with a ball in between; they flick the ball into the air to start the game, whoever gets the ball wins possession,  similar to a face-off in hockey or a tip-off in basketball.) The rest of the players on the field can choose to wear their masks while they play. If an individual on the field feels they need to take their mask down to breathe better, they are allowed to do so. 

Assistant coaches Cate Ernest and Lindsey Jachens are both well-versed in all things lacrosse. They ensure that the team is working hard every day in both conditioning and skill development., Jachens is an expert on defensive methods and plays, while Ernest’s expertise lies in offensive skill. This dynamic is a recipe for well-rounded players, who will become proficient in both defense and offense, rather than just one or the other. 

The first and most important goal for this season in particular is for everyone to stay happy and healthy and play all of our games.”

— Lindsey Jachens, assistant coach

“The first and most important goal for this season in particular is for everyone to stay happy and healthy and play all of our games,” Jachens explained when asked what she has in mind for the 2021 season.

“The next goal is that we come together as one defensive and offensive unit, as we have many players who are playing together for the first time,” she continued. “We have a lot of skilled and athletic players, so it would be great to see our style of play reflect that. My other goal is to compete with every team we play against this season.”

Head coach Scott Ernest is the heart of the girls’ lacrosse program at Hills, and although his health has prevented him from coaching the way he has in previous years, he has put an incredible amount of effort into supporting the team. Whether it be coming to practices or scrimmages, his advice and presence alone have been valuable and uplifting to every player on the team. 

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Coaches and players alike are hoping for a spectacular season, and they are looking forward to playing their first game of the season on Tuesday, April 20 against Morris Catholic High School.