Good Counsel senior Caroline Peters has dealt with her share of bumps and bruises in her lacrosse career. The All-Met midfielder’s fearless play around the net inevitably results in a few collisions and hard spills each game.
But the right high ankle sprain that felled Peters in a 5-4 win over Winters Mill earlier this season felt different right away. For once, she couldn’t push through the pain.
Peters missed two games and most of another, two of which the Falcons lost. Forced to watch for the first time in her career, the Vanderbilt recruit decided hanging out on the sideline wasn’t for her.
“It made me realize how much I wanted to be out there with my team,” said Peters, who has 57 goals and eight assists in 15 games this season.
When Peters has been healthy enough to play the full game, third-ranked Good Counsel has yet to lose.
Since the 5-foot-9 midfielder tried and failed to play through the injury in a 13-5 loss to Northport (N.Y.) on April 3, the Falcons are 13-0-1. Coach Michael Haight believes the team is peaking at the right time, heading into Friday’s nonleague showdown with top-ranked St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, its final tune-up before the WCAC tournament.
Good Counsel, which had its streak of 90 consecutive WCAC victories snapped by rival Holy Cross in the tournament final last spring, once again boasts one of the area’s most talented lineups. The Falcons are perfect against local competition and finished the regular season with an unblemished conference record for the ninth straight season.
A handful of juniors have already given oral commitments, including second-leading scorer Haley Giraldi (Princeton). Then there’s freshman Lexi Rieu, who has a chance to break the school record for draw controls in a season held by current University of Virginia starter Morgan Stephens.
Haight said none of those players has quite the individual impact on the team as Peters, a second-year captain whose aggressive play can be infectious.
“She gives everybody else the drive and determination to say, ‘Nobody can stop me,’” Haight said. “Her mentality going in is ‘I’m going to get it to cage,’ and the younger kids want to emulate that. The way she plays gives everybody a lot of confidence.”
Peters set the tone in last week’s convincing 14-4 win over Holy Cross when she matched her season high with six goals. Haight said he expected Peters to be ready after struggling individually in last year’s loss to the Tartans.
Without losing her edge, Peters stayed in control and picked her spots to attack better this time. She believes that hard lesson learned from last season’s disappointing finish will continue to pay dividends for the Falcons.
“Last year, I think we were really anxious and excited,” Peters said. “This year, we emphasized being calm and playing our game. That was the difference.”
Rankings: The Post Top 10
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