Lady laxers ready to make mark

After 6-5-1 record last season, Eagles want to dominate.


Sports editor

This was the year the Klahowya girls lacrosse program and coach Eric Moore hoped to make the jump from the JV Division of the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association.

After finishing 6-5-1 a year ago, the Eagles showed just how quickly the girls lacrosse program has grown at Klahowya. But after getting denied a bump up to the Varisty B level, Moore said his Eagles are eager to prove they can hang.

“I think it’s a great motivator for the girls,” he said. “These girls are more athletic, more intense. And they take it personally.”

With several strong returners flanked by some promising first-year talent, Moore said the Eagles have a chance to leave quite an impression on the JV ranks this season.

“Honestly, last year we ended up doing alright,” Moore said. “This year, we’re still in the JV league. We want to dominate that and move up to varsity.”

That mix of experience and youth is something Moore said will aid the Eagles throughout the upcoming lacrosse season.

“I have some phenomenal girls that this is their first year ever playing,” he said. “It’s extremely important. I couldn’t ask for a better group of newbies. And returners like Izzi (Coleman), Damaris (Natividad), Rosin (Saez), they’re great leaders.”

That returning core will join up with newcomers like Rocki Winkler and Ruthie Hawley. Moore said he’s excited to see what his team can do.

“The intensity at practice, which in my opinion, I certainly couldn’t ask for a better group of girls,” Moore said. “But it’s all about how they finish, how they play on the field.”

Karli Kent is another key returner for the Eagles this season, lining up between the postsin goal. Combined with Coleman’s defensive prowess, Moore is optimistic his squad will give opposing offenses fits.

“Karli Kent, our goalie, she had stepped up,” he said. “She still takes all the shots and pain I give her with a smile. And Izzi Coleman’s leadership on defense.”

Kent’s sister Quincy also is out this season, something Moore enjoys seeing.

“She brought her sister,” he said. “It’s becoming a family outing.”

While defense will be strong again, the biggest offensive question mark will be replacing Katie Gaskill and her 10 goals from a year ago.

“What we’re really gonna miss is at center with Katie,” Moore said. “We’re trying to figure out how to replace her.”

But with what he’s seen so far, he knows his team will be fine on the attack.

“I think our offense will be fantastic,” he said. “These are all girls that want it.”

Part of that is thanks to players like Courtney Lewandowski, Koyuki Fritchman and Saez.

Gaskill isn’t the only departure of note.

Two of last year’s graduates, Jenna Adams and Sarah Dawson, are now students at the University of Washington. But Moore said they’re also continuing their lacrosse careers for UW’s club team. That makes him feel pretty good as a coach.

“It really does,” he said. “They fell in love with the sport and wanted to keep playing.”

He said that just shows how much girls lacrosse is growing on the Olympic Peninsula.

“I’m proud of these girls,” he said. “They came out in a sport that on this side of the water is not very recognized. I think they’re gonna change that.”

Klahowya opens the season with a home game at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Central Kitsap Junior High School.

“The best part is the first game,” Moore said. “I can’t wait until our first game. And just to see all the girls and their enthusiasm.”