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Youthful MHS Girls Lax Squad Opens Season

The Milford High girls lacrosse team kicked off the 2015 season with a 16-3 loss to Mansfield, but the bump in the road did little to deter head coach Jason Gelmini's confidence in his young squad.
"There were definitely a lot of good things to takeaway, despite the result," he said. "Last week was the first time we had been able to get outside, so it was good to get a tough team early on to see where we are and what we have to work on."
With 12 seniors having graduated last spring, the Scarlet Hawks turn to a new crop of veterans to lead the youthful bunch. Senior captain Olivia Overdahl is expected to be one of the team's top threats on offense while fellow captains Clarissa Miyares and Molly Dillon will anchor the defense. "We are going to be leaning heavily on Olivia to score goals for us," Gelmini said. "And with the two seniors on defense, we figure that will be a strong point. They all have great varsity experience and we are counting on them."
Sophomore Hannah Cairney will take over the starting spot in goal. Like the rest of the squad, she received a bit of a trial by fire against the strong Mansfield attack. "It was her first varsity game, so it was great to get that under her belt," Gelmini said. "She made some big saves for us and I think it was something for her to build upon."
Another key component of this year's team will be a strong junior class. Morgan Smith and Julie Dam are expected to start in the midfield. Fellow junior Erin Fleming will be part of the defense.
"We return the most experience on defense, so we should be strong there," Gelmini said. "We are looking at a number of girls who have stepped up and shown promise in the off-season."
Another challenge Gelmini and company will experience is playing in the Hockomock League. "We are in tough league," he said. "A lot of the teams we play are fast and big, so scoring can be difficult. Offense is something we are going to look to develop every time."
Milford's home opener was Monday against Oliver Ames, another league test for the Scarlet Hawks. Under Gelmini, MHS posted an 8-10 record in 2014, falling just a game short of the postseason. While the playoffs are one of the team's goals for the spring, they take a back seat to day-to-day improvement.
"Last year we just missed the playoffs, obviously getting to the playoffs is huge, but it's not a specific goal," he said. "We want to be competitive and improve every game. That's our focus, that's what we want to see."




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