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Sports

New Green girls lacrosse coach offers clean slate for team

4/11/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — First-year Green High School girls lacrosse head coach Marisa Rainieri said she has given her players the chance for a fresh start this season.

“Since I am a new coach, I think our biggest strength this year would be our hard work,” she said. “All the girls had to prove to me what kind of players they were without any insight of how they played last year. They all started this year with a fresh slate.”

According to Rainieri, there are eight seniors on the team this season, but she said the team was constructed without regard for seniority.

“I barely knew what grade half of them were in when we did tryouts. I focused on coaching each athlete without worrying about if they were a freshman or a senior,” she said. “I chose my teams based on talent and drive, without worrying about grade. I have quite a few underclassmen that made varsity who will be significant contributors to the team.”

The seniors on this year’s team are Carlee Coffee, Mickaela Kopez, Natalia Amaya, Carli Oldaker, Abby Pilgram, Courtney Higley and Hannah Sexton (who tore her anterior cruciate ligament and will not be playing).

“One senior that has stood out this year is Abby Pilgram,” Rainieri said. “She gives the team a positive outlook and a glimpse of what hard work looks like. She is a major leader on this team, and she will be missed next year.”

The coach said at least two of her seniors have plans to continue playing lacrosse at the college level.

“Carli Oldaker plans to attend Walsh [University] to play lacrosse and Courtney Higley plans to attend [The University of] Findlay to play lacrosse next year,” she said.

On the other end of the experience spectrum, freshman Morgan Suponsic is expected to be a major contributor in the midfield this season, Rainieri said.

“I noticed Morgan’s stick skills, speed and agility the first day of practice, and she has only gotten better since,” the coach stated. “She will be a major contributor to our team this year and each year following.”

Last year, the team finished with a 5-12 overall record. Rainieri said her No. 1 goal as the team’s new coach is to improve upon that record this season.

“We are focusing on things we can improve every day that will help us reach that goal,” said Rainieri, who coached at Hudson High School the previous two years. “Our schedule this year is tough, but the girls are up for the challenge.”

Rainieri’s assistant coach this season is Meredith Burns, one of her former high school teammates at Green.

“The [junior varsity] coaches are Marissa Lundgren and Kent Biscan,” Rainieri stated. “Marissa is a former high school teammate and also a college teammate at Notre Dame College. Kent also played lacrosse for Green.”

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