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Nationally Ranked Girls’ Lacrosse Year in Review

Posted On: Saturday, June 20, 2015
By: wsimmons.
Bishop Ireton wins its first ever back-to-back VISAA titles.

Bishop Ireton wins its first ever back-to-back VISAA titles.

Cardinals celebrate second consecutive state title win over neighborhood rival, St Stephens & St Agnes in May 2015

Cardinals celebrate second consecutive state title win over neighborhood rival, St Stephens & St Agnes in May 2015

Cardinals might have gotten by some tough opponents, but TSA gave the team a close review in their trip to Georgia.

Cardinals might have gotten by some tough opponents, but TSA gave the team a close review in their trip to Georgia.

Freshman Lexi Ledoyan had a break out year for the Cardinals.

Freshman Lexi Ledoyan had a break out year for the Cardinals.

Sr Charlotte Sofield was named VISAA player of the year, Wash Post all Met 1st team, 1st team WCAC, US Lax & UA All American in 2015

Sr Charlotte Sofield was named VISAA player of the year, Wash Post all Met 1st team, 1st team WCAC, US Lax & UA All American in 2015

The 2015 Bishop Ireton Cardinals girls lacrosse team finished the season by winning the Virginia state title and finishing the season with a 20-3 record. The team finished the season nationally ranked #4 according to the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine poll, #2 in the greater D.C. area according to the final Washington Post All-Met rankings, and ranked #1 in the South region in the TopLaxRecruits.com poll. They became the first team in Bishop Ireton school history to win back-to-back state titles in any sport. Long hours, days, and months in heat and snow starting last June again paid off for the Bishop Ireton girls’ lacrosse team in 2015!

The Cardinals beat St. Stephens & St. Agnes 12-10 for the 2015 Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) state title at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland on Saturday, May 16. The triumph marks the Cardinals’ second-straight 20-win season and the fewest-ever number of losses in program history in a complete season (three).

Not everything went as planned for the girls this season. On April 11, Ireton lost to perennial national #1 McDonogh 14-4. The Eagles have not lost since 2009. The Cardinals lost to Good Counsel 17-16 on April 29.

On May 7, Holy Cross upset Bishop Ireton 10-9 in the WCAC semifinals. “We stumbled,” Coach Rick Sofield said. “The girls were stunned after the game.” Thus ended the Cardinals’ hopes for repeating as WCAC champions.

Ireton Goes for Redemption…

With their hopes of repeating as conference champion extinguished, the Cardinals turned their focus to the state tournament. In the quarterfinals, they beat Potomac School 19-5 on May 12 at Fannon Field on Cambridge Road in Alexandria; and defeated St. Anne’s-Belfield 10-6 on May 15 in a hard-fought state semifinal game at Randolph-Macon to again reach the championship stage with a chance at redemption.

With temperatures in the upper 80s on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals again took on the Saints in the VISAA state championship game for the third time in four years. Ireton raced out to an early 5-0 lead, but St. Stephen’s battled back and the score was 8-5 at halftime. SSSA tied the game early in the second half 9-9, but that lasted for less than a minute as Kelly Larkin scored what turned out to be the go-ahead goal with 16:55 remaining. Bishop Ireton was then in firm control down the stretch with a tough-as-nails defense that held the Saints scoreless for about 10 minutes at one point.

“Our word the past two weeks has been redemption,” said Charlotte Sofield. “Redemption is if you fall short or you make a mistake, you make good on it. We fell short of what we were capable of and in this game we redeemed ourselves and we made good on it.”

“Last year our motto was, ‘It’s not an accident,’ meaning any success we have is the product of hard work, it’s not an accident,” Rick Sofield said. “This year’s motto has been, ‘We’re not satisfied.’ … The Holy Cross game, maybe we were a little too satisfied and that’s why we lost that game. That got us back where we needed to be mentally for this run in this playoff round. We weren’t satisfied. We wanted to show that last year wasn’t a flash in the pan.

“We want to play St. Stephen’s every year. We’d love to play them in the regular season; we’d love to play them in the playoffs; we’d love to play them five times a year if they would play us. We love playing good teams like that.”

2015 Senior Class

Julie Hanson (#4—Defense) will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall to study sports medicine. Natalie Irwin (#10—Captain/Defense) accepted a Naval Academy Foundation candidate position and will attend The Peddie School this coming fall. Kaitlin Luzik (#13—Captain/Midfield) will attend and play lacrosse at the University of Virginia in the fall. Rachel Macey (Manager) will attend the University of Virginia this fall. Kelly Mathews (#14—Captain/Attack) will attend and play lacrosse at Boston University this fall. Christine Macey (#17—Attack) will attend the University of Virginia this fall. Camille Polson (Manager) is looking forward to attending the University of Virginia in the fall. Charlotte Sofield (#15—Captain/Midfield) is attending and playing lacrosse at the University of North Carolina this fall. Maggie Wiltsie (#21—Attack) will study medicine in the fall at the University of Virginia.

Looking to 2016 and beyond…

Despite the departure of big group of highly skilled seniors, the future looks bright for the Cardinals looking ahead to the 2016 season and beyond. Leading the charge will be newly elected 2016 team captains Maggie Lohrer, Brittany Dolan, and Kelly Larkin. Within three hours of winning the state title, information about summer strength and conditioning went out and the workouts began June 9.

Returning varsity team members verbally committed to play NCAA women’s lacrosse include Kate Carney (2017)—Cincinnati; Amelia Cole (2017)—Denver; Brittany Dolan (2016)—Penn State; Grace Fletcher (2016)—Liberty; Kelly Larkin (2016)—Navy; Lexi Ledoyen (2018)—Syracuse; Maggie Lohrer (2016)—Boston U.; Kayla Marshall (2017)—Louisville; and Susan Morad (2016)—Manhattan.

And to answer “that” question…

Rick Sofield says he will continue coaching at Bishop Ireton. “This is my passion,” he says. “I love doing this. These girls have bought completely into what we’re doing. We’re building something great here that we want to keep going for as long as possible. There’s no doubt I’m coming back next year.”

Hard work pays off in other ways…

First team 2015 VISAA Girls Lacrosse All State selections were Charlotte Sofield, Kaitlin Luzik, Kelly Larkin, and Kayla Duperrouzel; second team selections were Kelly Mathews and Maggie Lohrer. Charlotte Sofield was named Player of the Year and Rick Sofield was named Coach of the Year.

Congratulations to Bishop Ireton’s 2015 Washington Post All Met selections—1st Team: Kaitlin Luzik & Charlotte Sofield; 2nd Team: Kelly Mathews; and Honorable Mention: Maggie Lohrer, Kayla Duperrouzel, and Kelly Larkin.

The Cardinals’ first team 2015 WCAC Girls Lacrosse All Conference selections were Kaitlin Luzik, Charlotte Sofield, Kelly Mathews, Kelly Larkin, and Maggie Lohrer; second team selections were Kayla Duperrouzel, Natalie Irwin, and Amelia Cole; and Brittany Dolan was an honorable mention selection.

The team’s 2015 U.S. Lacrosse All Americans were Kaitlin Luzik, Kelly Mathews, Charlotte Sofield, and Kelly Larkin. Cardinals named as 2015 U.S. Lacrosse Academic All Americans were Kelly Larkin, Maggie Lohrer, Natalie Irwin, Kelly Mathews, and Kaitlin Luzik.

Congratulations to Charlotte Sofield and Kaitlin Luzik for being selected as 2015 Under Armour Senior All Americans. Only the nation’s top girls’ high school seniors are selected each year for the sport’s highest honor. They are selected by a panel of lacrosse experts from Inside Lacrosse Magazine. The year-long selection process includes input from college and high school coaches from across the country as well as nominations from the public.

Cardinals named as Under Armour Underclass All Americans were Amelia Cole, Brittany Dolan, Kayla Duperrouzel, Kelly Larkin, and Maggie Lohrer. Also, Maddie Stephens will compete and showcase herself as part of the 2016 Under Armour Uncommitted Game in front of scores of college coaches.

Sofield and Luzik will play in the Senior All-America Girls Game on Friday, July 3, 5:30 p.m., at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium in Baltimore. The Cardinals’ Underclass and Uncommitted players will be playing at Towson that same weekend.  Click here for more information regarding this prestigious event.

The US Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament took place May 22-24 in Bethlehem, PA, and there were 14 Cardinals playing for one or another of the five teams representing the DC Metro area—Larkin, M. Lohrer, Cole, Dolan, Marshall, Carney, Mote, L. Lohrer, Stephens, DeCanio, Brisbin, Ryan, Cunningham, and Morad.

Caton Brisbin, Amelia Cole, and Megan Cunningham were selected to represent Virginia at the 2015 Brine National Lacrosse Classic in Richmond, June 29-July 2.

Amelia Cole and Brittany Dolan were selected to be members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ National High School Girls’ Lacrosse Team playing in Lake Placid, NY, August 3-5.

By the numbers…

The Cardinals scored 348 goals during the 2015 season while allowing only 159—over 23 games that means they scored an average 15.13 goals per game and allowed an average of only 6.91 goals per game.

24 different players scored goals this season: Larkin (68); Mathews (65); Sofield (64); Duperrouzel (34); Marshall (24); Ledoyen (23); Macey (14); Luzik (9); Fletcher (6); Mote (4); Irwin (4); Ryan (4); Brisbin (3); Sullivan (3); and DeCanio (1); Bewick (1); L. Lohrer (1); Dolan (1); Carney (1); Hanson (1); Cunningham (1); Wiltsie (1); M. Lohrer (1); and Stephens (1).

With assists often being the “unsung” factors as to whether or not the Cardinals won, 14 different players recorded assists during the 2015 season: Sofield (49); Larkin (32); Mathews (22); Duperrouzel (21); Marshall (12); Luzik (10); Mote (10); Macey (6); Stephens (2); Ryan (2); Irwin (2); Fletcher (2); Cole (1); and Ledoyen (1).

The top five point leaders were: Sofield (114); Larkin (100); Mathews (87); Duperrouzel (55); and Marshall (36).

In goal, Cole had 137 saves and Lee had 4 saves.

Scooping up ground balls were: Luzik (53); Irwin (25); Sofield (25); Carney (24); Mathews (23); M. Lohrer (23); Marshall (22); Larkin (21); Cole (20); Dolan (19); Duperrouzel (18); Macey (16); Mote (11); Morad (10); L. Lohrer (8); Ledoyen (8); DeCanio (8); Stephens (6); Ryan (3); Brisbin (2); Cunningham (2); Fletcher (2); Wallace (2); Heaney (1); Hanson (1); and Bewick (1).

Initiating caused turnovers and playing great defense were: Luzik (44); Irwin (21); Carney (18); Sofield (16); Larkin (14); M. Lohrer (14); Mathews (9); Marshall (8); Dolan (8); Cole (7); Duperrouzel (5); Morad (5); L. Lohrer (3); DeCanio (2); Macey (2); Hanson (2); Brisbin (2); Ledoyen (1); Wiltsie (1); Heaney (1); Stephens (1); Fletcher (1); Wallace (1); and Mote (1)

Draw controls were key to Ireton’s success this year and Bishop Ireton can thank the following players: Duperrouzel (104); Luzik (59); M. Lohrer (56); Mathews (19); Sofield (15); Carney (14); Dolan (13); Larkin (13); Irwin (8); Morad (6); Cunningham (6); Brisbin (6); Marshall (5); Ledoyen (5); DeCanio (3); Fletcher (2); L. Lohrer (2); Macey (2); Johnson (2); Mote (1); Bewick (1); Hanson (1); and Ryan (1).

#ItsNotAnAccident, #NotSatisfied…

It will be an action-packed summer for the girls as they work hard as teammates and opponents for various club teams at tournaments up and down the east coast. They will also be attending many different camps and clinics in an ongoing effort to sharpen their lacrosse skills. Some 2016 Cardinals are going as far afield as Scotland, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida to play in tournaments and attend camps.

Who really knows what will happen during the 2016 season? The articles written about them and the other forms of recognition they have received and will undoubtedly continue to receive, in the end, mean nothing.  What is certain is that, without a doubt, the blood, sweat, and tears that the Bishop Ireton girls’ lacrosse team continues to expend and the voluntary sacrifices they will certainly make between now and next spring means that no one will “overlook” them starting in March and they will earn every honor that comes their way the old-fashioned way—hard work.

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