East Grand Rapids ends the girls varsity lacrosse team’s season by defeating the Rangers 17-8

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The girls varsity lacrosse team was defeated last night 17-8 in the semifinals of the MHSAA state playoffs by rival East Grand Rapids. The Rangers didn’t perform to the best of their abilities; however, they made sure to fight until the horn sounded to end the game. There is no doubt that the first season in program history was a success. The Rangers will be returning all players next season, for they have no seniors on the team. 

The Rangers finished out the year with a 9-8 record, just breaking the .500 mark. As a first-year program, playing against top-tier opponents such as Rockford, East Grand Rapids, and Forest Hills Northern, the Rangers displayed that they are a team to watch out for in the near future. As stated before, the Rangers return all players for the 2021-2022 season. Other programs have players graduating, so FHC’s chemistry next year will be unmatched.

The Rangers started the year on the struggle bus; the girls lost games early in the season to both Rockford and Grand Rapids Catholic Central. However, sophomore Delaney Smith excelled this season for the Rangers, scoring goals in almost every game this season.

“Our season started off a little rough, and we had not played together a whole lot,” Delaney said. “But as we started to practice day after day, week after week, our offense started clicking. Along with that, our defense really came together as a unit.”

The Rangers’ offense improved every game this season. Sophomores Gabby Hendricks and Shannon Murphy put up multiple goals for the Lady Rangers in each game. Sophomore goalie Tori Brown also had a great season and was able to help prevent goals against the Rangers. 

“I think we came out to be a pretty competitive team,” junior Sophie Hartl said. “We continued to get compliments from referees and opposing coaches that we saw earlier in the season about how far we have come as a team, so that means a lot.”

Head coach Zoe Mamo has been extremely proud of her team and its performance this season. FHC’s roller coaster of a season proved to her that the girls could respond to adversity and capitalize on any opportunities. Despite the tough loss to East Grand Rapids, cutting the girls’ season just short of their goal, they still have shown an immense amount of growth both as a team and individually. 

“As a coach of a new program, it definitely had a lot of challenges and growth opportunities for me as well, and I learned a lot about being more patient and adapting on the fly to meet the needs of the team,” coach Mamo said. 

After this season, the Ranger girls lacrosse program is on the ups. Heading into the off-season, the girls are getting ready to start their preparations for next season. 

“I am really excited about having this same team next year, along with some incoming freshman,” coach Mamo said. “I think we can really step it up and turn our almost conference wins into actual wins next year.”