Lady Trojans making significant strides in high school action

Flashback to the summer of 2013.

A group of young ladies and their parents mustered at the North Pocono Public Library to discuss what it would take to get a girls’ lacrosse program started at the high school.

It seems like ages ago.

The school board tabled any plans to get the program going that fall. Four years later, however, the measure passed and last spring the Lady Trojans took to the field for the first time.

They were a club at first, not officially playing for standing in the Wyoming Valley Conference.

Things were all set for the squad to compete fully sanctioned by the PIAA this year when Alyssa DePietro resigned due to conflicts with her work schedule.

The team in need of a new skipper went on a search to find someone with lacrosse experience to pilot the fledging team.

Enter local resident Kim Scirtchfield who played high school lacrosse growing up in Ocean County New Jersey.

“My 10-year-old daughter plays in the Scranton league,” she said. “When the team needed a coach, a few people knew I had played, and I was approached to coach the team.”

Finally armed with the necessary managerial components, North Pocono was able to enter conference play this year. While progress was made, things didn’t necessarily always work out for the Trojans on the field.

Season Recap

The Lady Trojans got off to a solid start.

While they lost their opener versus Dallas, it was only by a 5-2 margin. Facing more experienced teams such as Hazleton, Wyoming Area, and Scranton Prep, the goals against were much higher.

However, early in the season North Pocono notched their first win of the year, a 16-2 victory over Lakeland. Unfortunately, the Chiefs are in the same boat the Lady Trojans were in last year and playing non-conference. While the win counted in the power rankings, it doesn’t show up on the league scoreboard.

Regardless, it was a hurdle NP managed to surmount.

Five more matches would pass before North Pocono could but another tick in the wins column. Facing Tunkhannock on May 4, the Trojans played what Coach Scirtchfield felt was their toughest game of the season.

“We lost to Tunkhannock last year, 7-0. This year we won 9-8 in double overtime,” she said. “It was a very intense game, both teams were flying up and down the field, and everyone was playing very hard. It was a heated game and our girls kept their cool.

“Getting the golden goal to win made it the most exciting game we played all season.”

Coach Scirtchfield noted that the Pittston Area game, despite being a 10-9 loss for North Pocono, was also a good match. Last season the Trojan lasses fell 11-1, so the one-goal loss, she felt was a big improvement.

The season is in the books. Closing at 2-11 overall, North Pocono missed the cut for the eight-team playoff bracket, finishing ninth, ahead of both Tunkhannock and Lakeland.

Solid Crew

A number of seniors grace the Lady Trojans roster, many of which played last year as well, and have a history of being on other NP teams as well.

On defense: Gianna Anelli, Amber Goffredo, Alana Wright, and Emily Leggiero. Attackers include: Zoey Taft, Ashley Santaniello, Catherine Maholick, and Jordyn McDonough who was second among goal scorers with 12.

Although a slew of seniors are departing, the future of the team looks bright. A number of freshmen have been gaining experience playing in the Scranton indoor leagues.

Goal keeper junior Kaitlyn Wheeler is poised to return, sophomore Carena Colo is a fierce attacker who improved dramatically this season.

And, with 27 goals, sophomore Kendra Jordan paced the squad as is likely to suit up again next year.

“I can’t think of anyone that isn’t motivated and doesn’t want to come back,” said Scirtchfield.

“They come to play and to improve. They’ve been asking about camps to attend over the summer because they want to get better. They don’t want to put the stick down for 10 months and then pick it back up next spring.”

Moving Along

Scirtchfield knows there’s a lot of work ahead, but she knows the team is committed.

“The girls have determination and play ‘til the end every game,” she said. “Even in tough games like Lake-Lehman where we were down 25-1, the girls cheered their teammates for that one goal like it was a game-winner.

“They didn’t get down on themselves and kept it together.”

Over the summer Coach Scirtchfield hopes to keep the girls busy with scrimmages and skill sessions. When winter comes, she hopes many will get involved in the indoor league to further sharpen their skills.

Winning more games is North Pocono's goal for next year and with a little bit of luck, they might just earn a spot in the play-offs.