The Wildcats, who were 4-2 overall and 3-0 in Area 2A-AAAAA going into last Friday’s game at Pope, are coming off a spring break trip two weeks ago to North Carolina — where they played some of the best teams in that state.
The results were somewhat mixed for Westminster, which lost to Apex 13-8 March 7 and Charlotte Catholic 12-8 March 8 before finishing its trip with a 19-2 win over Providence Day of Charlotte March 9.
For Westminster coach Jay Watts, it was a good early season challenge for his team.
“I think, it was really good for us to play better competition and to be pushed in some ways that we have not been at that point of the season,” Watts said. “I always believed you get better playing against higher levels of competition. But, hopefully, we learned some things up there that will help us in more meaningful games back here at home.
The Wildcats have established themselves as the top team in the state’s lower lacrosse classification over the past few years with three straight Class A-AAAA titles.
However, Watts said that he and his team don’t focus on their past accomplishments.
“Every year is different and we don’t think about it in terms of two in a row or three in a row,” Watts said. “This is a new team and we have a lot of new faces. We even got a player or two that’s new to Westminster and so every year, we’re kind of starting from scratch and we’re trying to do things right and improve as a team and just put ourselves in position to be in the right place at the end of the year.”
Having lost 11 seniors from last year’s squad that went 20-2 on its way to its third straight state crown and with a number of underclassmen in the lineup, it has been somewhat of a transitional period for Watts and his team.
“We have a lot of new faces,” he said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores that are contributing. We had three different freshmen start at least one game this year and that’s new for us. But, it’s also exciting. They have a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy and they are really contributing and helping us out.”
Senior attacker Caroline Heys led the team in scoring as of last Friday with 17 goals and 16 assists, while freshman attacker Cabell Zakas (16 goals) and senior midfielder Ansley Walker (13 goals, 4 assists) have also contributed to Westminster’s offensive output.
Senior Taylor Bremer anchors the Wildcats’ defense, while junior goalkeeper Annie Jachthuber has accumulated 30 saves as of last Friday.