Upper Merion High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team: (Names highlighted are former UMLC players)
TIMES HERALD ARTICLE: 4/26/2011
UPPER MERION — You might want to delay cranking up the state championship victory parade. It probably wouldn’t even be wise to begin the sizing process for those league championship jackets. But there’s no doubt girls lacrosse has taken a few steps up on the quality and interest meters at Upper Merion High. Once only a spring sport until preparations for proms and graduation siphoned off a healthy portion of the roster, the Vikings girls lacrosse program is enjoying some success and is growing.
Monday afternoon’s 17-5, non-league win over Pope John Paul II upped the Vikings’ record to 6-2. And while Upper Merion has yet to seriously challenge Upper Dublin for Suburban One League American Conference supremacy, the Vikings have played Wissahickon close (13-9) in defeat, and will get their chance to vie for a spot in the upper echelon of the conference over a three-week grind that will see them play 11 games in 13 days.
The numbers are up, there is a full (while not deep) J.V. team and a club team in place that is producing varsity players for the high school that are learning plays and schemes instead of how to throw and catch.
“We have more well-rounded players,” said Vikings head coach Angie Yanocha. “In years past, there were times we were losing games because we couldn’t make connections. “But that has improved significantly. Today, our transition was real good. We were going from defense to offense quickly and cleanly.”
“Because of the club team that’s been started, there are young players we have who are pretty good,” added Mel Ryan, who had five goals and an assist in Monday’s win. “They’re experienced players when they get here.”
The upturn in fortunes has also helped create a semblance of chemistry, heretofore a subject that only existed during in-school hours.
“(Lacrosse) is something we’re talking about away from the field,” Ryan said. “We’re winning now, and we’re excited about it.”
A part of that team camaraderie surfaced during spring break when the team played two games in one day.
To help get over the hump, the Vikings seniors created “The Egg-mazing Race,” a type of scavenger hunt that saw the roster divided into three teams competing in contests involving eggs, clues, water balloons and more.
“It bonded our team,” Ryan said. “I think we’re more together this year.”
How much it will translate into victories remains to be seen. But for now, the Vikings are enjoying themselves. And that fun has translated into success on the field.
“We’re stacked with games over the next couple weeks,” Ryan said, “but we’re all hoping it will end with a winning season.”
Highlights from the 4/4 Game vs. Cheltenham:
Upper Merion 19, Cheltenham 10
Amanda McAteer scored four goals and contributed three assists to lead the Vikings to the big win. Teammates Mel Ryan, Casey Griffith, Liz Botto and Jackie Schauble each added three goals. Ryan also had three assists and Griffith, one assist. Brooke Dubin contributed two goals and an assist while Dominique Gambone added one goal and one assist.
In goal, Ally Frymoyer turned away 17 shots for the Vikings, who improved to 2-1 in league play (3-1 overall).
Upper Dublin 15 - Upper Merion 1
Goal scored for Upper Merion by Brooke Dubin
Upper Merion hosted Jenkintown in a non-league contest today and won by a score of 12-7.
Leading the offense was Mel Ryan with 4 goals and 1 assist. Amanda McAteer dominated the midfield controlling majority of the team's draw controls and ground ball pick-ups. McAteer also added 3 goals and 1 assist. Other goal scorers for the Vikings were Casey Griffith with 2 goals and 1 assist, while Liz Botto, Brooke Dubin and Powell Davis each added a goal. Key players on defense were Tammy Slaughter, Colleen Quigley and Karen Hranek.
The Vikings are now 2-0 overall.
Highlights from 3/29 Game vs Norristown:
The girls lacrosse team opened their season yesterday with a win over Norristown, beating them 15-6. Sophomore Casey Griffith led the attack with 3 goals and 3 assists. Junior, Mel Ryan, Sophomore, Amanda McAteer, and Freshman, Liz Botto, also contributed 3 goals a piece. In addition, Haley Fitzgerald, Brooke Dubin and Jackie Schauble each added a goal. Amanda McAteer led the team in ground ball control, while Mel Ryan had 2 interceptions. Goalkeeper Aly Frymoyer made 10 saves in the contest. The Lady Vikings are now 1-0 and play this afternoon at Upper Merion vs. Jenkintown.