Amity girls coach Jenna DeRosa never tries to predict a season’s success ahead of time.
Her approach is the typical take-it-one-day-at-a-time philosophy. She breaks down her team’s talent entering a season with the goal of developing each individual’s talent and working hard to improve with each passing practice and game.
“We just work one day at a time, one game at a time to get better and play smarter,” DeRosa said.
The past two seasons, the Spartans finished with identical 5-10-1 records. But in 2014, the Spartans got better and played smarter to come away with one of their best seasons with a 10-8 record.
The Spartans qualified for the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament, losing to Cheshire in the semifinals, and qualified for the Class L state tournament, losing to Newtown in the first round.
“We put a lot of pressure on this season to qualify for both the SCC tournament and states since we just missed it the last two years,” DeRosa said. “The girls worked really hard in the offseason with both conditioning and playing winter ball to accomplish those two goals.”
The Spartans excelled on the attack and with possession with Sarah Turner (47 goals, 12 assists), Ellie Henn (23 goals, 12 assists), Kira Saunders (21 goals, 80 ground balls, 44 draw controls), Liz Marino (16 goals, 13 assists) and Bella Ferraro (70 ground balls, 77 draw wins). Defensively, freshman goalie Jena Casman saw 404 shots on goal and made 214 saves. The defense was led by Gabby DiGell (66 ground balls, 16 takeaways).
DeRosa is hopeful this season’s success will instill confidence and momentum that will carry over to next season.
“I think this team needs to keep feeling success and stepping up for those big games,” DeRosa said. “Playing Cheshire in the (SCC) semifinals, and keeping up with them for most of the game until penalties caught up with us, showed us that we are on our way to competing with the best teams in the state.
“In my opinion, winning comes from having the skills and being confident. The more you win games, the more confident you become, so that’s the part of the game we want to improve on each year.”
Prep’s Sims among 18 All-Americans
Fairfield Prep midfielder Austin Sims is one of 18 Connecticut players named as U.S. Lacrosse All-Americans. Yale-bound Darien goalie Phil Huffard, whose team won the Class M championship on Saturday, is also on the team.
Others named to the team are attackmen Mason Burr of Simsbury, Luke Finneran of Greenwich, Peter Lindley of Darien, Simon Mathias of Ridgefield and Harry Stanton of New Canaan.
The midfielders are Rayn Babiak of Glastonbury, Kyle Cornell and Harry Gillespie of Darien, Decker Curran and Kyle Foote of Greenwich and Dylan Maher of Ridgefield.
The defensemen are Mark Evanchick of Darien, Jack Harrington of Greenwich and Peter Sconzo of Simsbury. Goalies Grant Limone of Weston and Josh Miller of McMahon also made the All-American team.