No slack for Norwin lax

Norwin Girls Lacrosse finishes their 21-22 season.


Karlie Johnson

Ava Wilson (10) goes for a ground ball.

Norwin Girls Lacrosse succeeds after their first full season since COVID-19 started. 

The Norwin Girls Lacrosse team finished their season with a record of 6-9, setting precedence for years to come. 

For the last few years the team has received the short end of the stick when it came to getting a full season, as last year they only had 9 games in total and the year before they didn’t get to play at all. 

They bounced back, however, with the help of 17 new players and a complete junior varsity team full of new faces. 

The reinvigorated program, with the help of coaches Mandy Payne and Courtney Kloos,  established a successful future for girls lacrosse. 

The players went into this season with goals. Though they weren’t focused on specific achievements, they collectively worked towards building their relationships with each other and helping one another build their skills as players. 

Overall, the team feels as though this was completed over the course of the season. 

“I think we definitely accomplished our main goal of growing as a team,” Ray Mamas (10) said. “We weren’t Upper Saint Clair or the best team in the league, but to look back on where we were to where we are now, we have grown a lot. We didn’t only become better players but also better friends.”

Before every game Coach Payne would say the team, “The only thing you have to lose is the game.” This always reminded the players that as long as they put all of their effort into the game, that was all that mattered. It emphasized the importance of hard work to the team, and it always encouraged them to work harder.

This season we played more as a team than in past years. We worked together on everything we did.

— Senior Liv Brown

“As a team we wanted to go out on the field and give it all we’ve got; make teams have to fight for a victory,” captain Alayna Francis (12) said. “We wanted to see our new players grow and to have fun when we played, which we did.”

This effort was evident throughout the season, especially towards the end. The last four games of the season varied in difficulty, but the players hustled all the same regardless of who they were playing. 

On April 26 the team faced off against Canon-McMillan. With a record of 10-6, the Big Macs were a formidable opponent. However, the players did fantastic, losing by a close 8-13. Though still a painful loss, the team did considerably better compared to past games against Canon-McMillan. 

The team followed this up with a tremendous 26-3 win against Allderdice on April 28. With over 8 players contributing to the scoreboard, the team truly knows how to share the wealth. 

The second to last game, a match against Bethel Park on May 3, resulted in a lot of new memories for the lacrosse team. About 15 minutes into the game, the team was called into the locker room for a thunderstorm delay. Though the game would have to be resumed the next day, being stuck in Bethel Park’s guest locker room provided the team with plenty of pleasant memories as they had to entertain themselves for over an hour as it poured outside. The girls would return the next day and lose 3-17, but they left laughing nonetheless.

The last game of the season for the Lady Knights was a rather disappointing one. The team faced off against North Hills on May 11, hoping for a win due to their quite equal skill sets. The score went back and forth throughout the game, but it finally ended with a small loss of 18-19. 

Despite the discouraging losses and tough practices, Norwin Girls Lacrosse persevered. They continued to work together and better their skills as a group, one of their most standout traits. 

My favorite memory from this season would be having the final goal of my last high school game assisted by one of my best friends Ava Wilson.

— Senior Captain Kayla Clark

“The Norwin girls lacrosse team is special because we aren’t just a team, we are a family,” Aubrey Stoken (11) said. “I know that a lot of teams say this, but for us it is true. We are all very close, we work together extremely well, and we have fun no matter if we win or lose. And the best part about our close relationship is, you can see it on and off the field. On the field our relationship is shown through how well we communicate and work together to move the ball around. Off the field it is shown through the fun we have together whether that be at christmas parties, team dinners, bus rides, etc. We all genuinely love each other and that’s what separates us from other teams.”

There are a lot of ways you could describe the Girls Lacrosse team, but if one thing is for sure, they know how to have fun.

The team celebrated the end of their season at their last practice on May 12. Having a beach day themed practice, the players bonded one last time by playing with water balloons and water guns. It allowed for the team to wrap up the season with a good memory and much better bonds between teammates. 

This season was a rebuilding year for Norwin Girls Lacrosse and they will likely be an unstoppable force in the years to come. 

LAX practice
The Lady Knights Lacrosse team poses for a group picture at their last practice of the season. (Mandy Payne)