NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – It is playoff time for girls lacrosse and the Fletcher Senators are hoping to peak at the right time against a familiar opponent.
The Senators will host Episcopal in the FHSAA regional quarterfinals at 7 p.m. this Thursday.
Fletcher and Episcopal met in the same regional quarterfinals last year with the Senators coming out on top. However, the Eagles got a bit of revenge this year with a 12-11 overtime win at home back on April 5th.
"Revenge? Absolutely, it is to be expected," said Kara Koolage in her first year as the Senators head coach. "It was a tough loss but we played awesome in that game so it is tough to walk away with our heads down. We learned a lot and we are excited to see them again. They are an awesome team, well coached, so it will be a good matchup."
Senior Karah Boney says they have revisited that game this week as they prepare for the Eagles again but points out their whole schedule helped get them here.
"We have been playing really hard teams the entire season," said Boney. "I think that was challenging for us and it made us get better every game. So right now we have learned so much this season to where now these games really count. We have worked so hard and we are ready for anything."
Seven seniors lead Fletcher on the field but the Senators also play as many as six freshmen. Coach Koolage says that those seniors have played a huge role in getting the new players up to speed.
"We have six freshmen that have never played lacrosse before and a lot of them are getting significant playing time which is pretty cool. Those seniors have been there at practice, guiding them, showing them the right things to do and it has been awesome," said Koolage.
Senior defender Shelby Barrett says as much teaching that they do on the field, it is the time off the field with the freshmen that is equally as important.
"I think one of the most important things is doing things outside of practice with them," said Barrett. "We have definitely had to step it up, go hit the wall some more than we usually would. We have extra practices on the weekends, just getting out there and putting in the extra work."