The emotions were real and difficult.
Perhaps most the toughest part of Cathedral High School girls lacrosse being canceled along with all Central Indiana 2020 spring high school sports was so much was unknown about what the team could become.
“We just didn’t get to do very much,” Irish girls lacrosse coach Mary Ann White said. “It’s tough not to see them grow.”
Irish girls lacrosse, like all Indiana high school spring sports, had its 2020 season canceled by regulations addressing Covid-19. The Irish, long a central Indiana power that spent 2019 in a transition season, played one game in 2020 – a narrow, 7-6 loss to Hamilton Southeastern.
The Irish rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the game, leaving White optimistic about the team’s character.
“What I took away from that game was we have some serious fighters on our team, and kids who play with a lot of heart and a lot of passion – and really know how to dig deep,” White said. “Sometimes, you get first-half teams who start really strong and kind of fall apart.
“This team was really good at grinding it out when it mattered.”
The Irish, after losing 13 seniors from the 2019 team, returned four seniors in 2020. White said she kept the team smaller in 2020 than in past seasons, keeping 19 players on varsity compared to 27 or 28 in in 2019.
“We were a really young team and a really small team this year, but I was really excited to see what we could do,” White said. “We have a lot of athleticism on all aspects of our team, so even the new girls I brought up to varsity were really strong athletes in other sports or had shown a high work ethic in the offseason. I was so excited to get the stick in their hands.”
While the senior class was comparatively small, White said the foursome were impactful and will leave a legacy. They were:
*Lindsey Douglas, midfield. “She brings the heat, the intensity every game she plays,” White said. “She hypes up the girls vocally, as well as in the way she plays. She’s willing to sacrifice. She plays with a lot of heart and leads by the way she plays.”
*Meghan Klenke, attacker and midfielder. “Meghan is probably one of my biggest team players,” White said. “She’s a really consistent player and she’s really selfless. She doesn’t get glamourous stats, but in order to get the pretty stats like the shots and assists, you have to do things like ground balls and draw controls and turnovers. She gets those and makes sure everything she does is to better a teammate. Everything she did set somebody ups or success.”
*Payton Snyder, defense. “She loves the team and loves the program,” White said. “She loves the other girls, so she puts in a lot of work. She’s a big communicator and plays defense. She does a lot of off-field work, too. She makes sure girls feel included and makes sure everyone’s accountable. She doesn’t get the pretty stats and I was looking forward to be key on our defense this year.”
*Laine Webster, attack and midfield. “She’s just a very powerful, strong athlete,” White said. “She brings a lot of height to the team. She’s very competitive and wants to win. She keeps competition really high in practice and pushes the other players.”
White said it’s a senior class that will be missed.
“I’m just going to be sad about missing a season with these girls,” White said. “It’s been cool to see them grow and see them get better. We’ve had bigger senior classes, but these were girls who really wanted to stick with it. These girls were committed to the other girls on the team and the betterment of the program. They were ready to put the work in. They leave a legacy with this program.
“It’s too bad we don’t get to go on the field and show what we have, but you can’t dwell on that.”
And while White said the senior class will be missed, the future of the program remains bright.
“Even though we’re losing four really impactful kids, I’m excited about next year because we do have a lot of returning kids,” White said. “These were kids who were freshmen and sophomores and got a lot of experience last year. It’s just really disappointing for the four seniors. It’s definitely hard, but we know there are bigger things going on, so we try not to dwell on this.
“These kids have put in the work. They struggled last year because they hadn’t had the minutes on a varsity field. They just needed a little bit of time at the varsity level. We had gotten that experience and we had more minutes under our belt. I’m still excited about where we were headed, and I feel like we’re still trending upwards.
“The four that we’re losing are incredible athletes, but I have some real solid kids that I’m excited for.”