When Loudoun Valley girls’ lacrosse coach Tracey Albro looked at the schedule, she knew she wouldn’t be making it easy on her team.
Originally slated for later in the season, Albro was forced to move the Vikings’ game against Centreville to Wednesday night because of a conflict with Loudoun County’s prom. The move put the Vikings in the unenviable position of having to play back-to-back games this week against Centreville and Woodgrove. Together, the two games will be the toughest test yet for the Vikings (4-0).
“I thought the girls are going to feel like we’re going to get crushed, but no, it actually has emboldened them,” Albro said. “They’re looking forward to playing against really, really good teams. They really need to be tested with this to see how they do under pressure defenses and how our defense does against other strong offenses.”
The Vikings will enter their tought stretch riding a hot streak of their own. Through its opening four games, Loudoun Valley has outscored opponents by a combined margin of 90-8 and has put up at least 20 goals in all four contests.
Loudoun Valley has been led offensively thus far by Maya Ebrahimnejad, who has paced the Vikings with 17 goals. Her teammates Corley Simons and Ashlyn DiLoreto each have 12 goals. Simmons is the team leader in assists with five.
Any momentum from the Vikings’ early-season dominance is tempered by the fact that none of Loudoun Valley’s first four opponents currently has a winning record. The week ahead should provide the Vikings with a good test of their progress after last year’s 12-7 campaign.
Centreville (5-0) is the only AAA team Loudoun Valley will face this season, but perhaps the more significant game for the Vikings is Thursday’s match-up against Dulles District rival Woodgrove. The Wolverines (4-1) swept all three meetings last season, including a 21-11 rout in the region tournament.
“Valley, I don’t think, has ever played Centreville, and Centreville’s a very strong team, so we’re looking forward to playing somebody that we’ve never played that’s a quality, strong team,” Albro said. “And Woodgrove, of course, they’re our little rival. They’re very strong. The last three meetings we’ve had with them last year, it’s been crushing for us. We’ve been looking forward to this week.”
Frank back on the sideline at Churchill
A fixture on the area lacrosse scene with coaching stops at Potomac Falls, Heritage, South Lakes and Marymount University, Jamie Frank has returned to the sideline this spring after a five-year hiatus.
Already a psychology and law teacher at Churchill, Frank’s students convinced her to seek the job. With the three-time Maryland 4A/3A West champion Bulldogs, the coach took over for Christen Gjeldum, who is on long-term maternity leave.
“The game has definitely changed,” Frank said. “My last coaching job I was an assistant at Marymount, so that’s a big part of it. Going from coaching college kids back to high school has been an adjustment.”
Frank believes her young squad has the talent to contend for another state tournament berth, but the beginning of the season has required patience. Churchill lost its top three scorers from last spring and has nearly as many freshmen (four) as seniors (five) on its varsity roster.
The schedule didn’t help as the Bulldogs had to play two of their toughest opponents of the regular season in their first three games, a period made more uneven with spring break wedged in the middle.
The team took lopsided losses to Bullis and Damascus but evened its record at 2-2 with Monday’s 20-6 victory at Paint Branch. Freshman Annie Moshyedi leads Churchill with 13 points so far, and seniors Bailey Boyland and Rachel Thal-Larsen are each one behind on the scoring list.
Since the 17-9 season-opening setback against Bullis on March 21, Frank has already noticed a major difference in her team’s attitude.
“You could see that the younger kids just didn’t feel comfortable,” Frank said. “They didn’t challenge. They didn’t go for the ball. They were really reticent. Now you’re seeing the girls that didn’t want to fight for the ground balls getting 10 or 11 a game.”
Junior Annie Igler scored five goals on Tuesday as Severn beat rival Spalding, 16-11. . . . Mount Hebron dropped its first game of the season on Saturday, falling 11-5 to private school power McDonogh, which won its 80th straight game. . . . Westfield enters the rankings after knocking off then-No. 10 Oakton, 12-10 in double overtime, on Tuesday. Junior Meghan Heick had three goals, including the game-winner.
1. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (12-0) LW: 1
2. Georgetown Visitation (12-0) LW: 2
3. Good Counsel (6-2) LW: 4
4. Mount Hebron (5-1) LW: 5
5. Marriotts Ridge (6-0) LW: 6
6. Severn (5-3-1) LW: 7
7. South River (4-2) LW: 3
8. Severna Park (4-1) LW: 8
9. Broadneck (5-2) LW: 9
10. Westfield (5-0) LW: NR
Dropped out: No. 10 Oakton (3-3)
Records through Tuesday