After concluding a dominant 2016 campaign with championships in the conference, region and state tournaments, Potomac Falls went into this season focused on going back to the basics — on one side of the field.
The Panthers are light on experience on defense with new starters across the back line, which is why earlier this season, three-fourths of practice time was spent working on getting stops.
But despite the changes on the defensive unit, Potomac Falls (7-0) is off to a perfect start.
Sophomore goalie Grace Hyde has stepped in net as the replacement for Jennelle Cimbura and recorded 67 saves this spring. Talented freshmen have joined the lineup, while new starters such as junior Grace Deker are carving out roles.
“We just kind of try to increase their lacrosse IQ — knowing where the ball is, what kind of slides they need to make,” Curl said.
Potomac Falls opened the season with a 10-9 win over rival Stone Bridge and has allowed 10 or fewer goals every game this spring. The offense is led by a senior core that has played together since elementary school and has thrived despite graduating leading scorer Sydney Knego.
The Panthers won Conference 14, 5A North region and Virginia 5A state titles during a 19-1 campaign last season. After an extended break following the 13-8 victory over South County on April 6, they continue their quest for a championship sweep repeat Thursday against T.C. Williams.
“It definitely added more pressure. We have a standard we have to live up to,” Birks said. “I feel like it's us current seniors right now trying to prove we still have a great program and we still can do it back to back.”
St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes beat Georgetown Visitation, 19-12, on Tuesday … Glenelg hosts Marriotts Ridge Friday in a battle of unbeatens … Bishop Ireton and Good Counsel meet again Wednesday to continue their March 30 game that was postponed due to an injured official … Severna Park beat Good Counsel 15-12 on Thursday … Spalding beat Glenelg Country, 9-8, on Tuesday.
1. St. Stephen's/St. Agnes (15-0) Last week: 1
2. Glenelg (8-0) LW: 3
3. Marriotts Ridge (6-0) LW: 4
4. Bishop Ireton (8-5) LW: 5
5. Good Counsel (10-3) LW: 2
6. Langley (11-0) LW: 6
7. Leonardtown (8-0) LW: 8
8. W.T. Woodson (9-0) LW: 9
9. Severna Park (6-2) LW: NR
10. Spalding (10-2) LW: NR
Records through Tuesday.