ConVal girls’ lacrosse shows potential, despite record

ConVal senior captain Abigail Lussier tries to control a draw against Manchester Central.

ConVal senior captain Abigail Lussier tries to control a draw against Manchester Central. —PHOTO BY BEN CONANT/BEN CONANT PHOTOGRAPHY

ConVal's Abigail Lussier attacks the Central net. 

ConVal's Abigail Lussier attacks the Central net.  —PHOTO BY BEN CONANT/BEN CONANT PHOTOGRAPHY

ConVal's Zadie Marshall fires a shot.

ConVal's Zadie Marshall fires a shot. —PHOTO BY BEN CONANT/BEN CONANT PHOTOGRAPHY

ConVal senior defender Lucille White defends the net in front of keeper Aubrey Niemela as Manchester Central attacks.

ConVal senior defender Lucille White defends the net in front of keeper Aubrey Niemela as Manchester Central attacks. —PHOTO BY BEN CONANT/BEN CONANT PHOTOGRAPHY

ConVal's Libby Nadeau charges into the Central zone.

ConVal's Libby Nadeau charges into the Central zone. —PHOTO BY BEN CONANT/BEN CONANT PHOTOGRAPHY

ConVal's Abigail Lussier gets a shot on goal.

ConVal's Abigail Lussier gets a shot on goal. —PHOTO BY BEN CONANT/BEN CONANT PHOTOGRAPHY

ConVal attack Nora Whicker goes for a shot against Central.

ConVal attack Nora Whicker goes for a shot against Central. —PHOTO BY BEN CONANT/BEN CONANT PHOTOGRAPHY

By BEN CONANT

For the Ledger-Transcript

Published: 05-10-2024 12:01 PM

The ConVal girls' lacrosse team didn't quite play up to their full potential against Manchester Central on Thursday, but new head coach Kevin Carne said his young team is improving every day. 

"They get better every game," Carne said after the 12-6 loss. "You may not see it, they may be making mistakes, but there are less of them as the year goes on. Talk about a lacrosse IQ - a lot of them don't have it yet, but they're building it. We have a lot of freshmen, sophomores, never played before … they're learning the sport as they go."

Carne, a longtime assistant coach for Derek Sorbello, took over the head coaching job this spring and inherited a team with just three seniors and a lot of newcomers. As such, there are some growing pains, but the Cougars have promise. ConVal made a nice come-from-behind win -- their first victory of the season -- over Alvirne earlier in the week that showed a flash of their potential. 

"They went down immediately, and we took a timeout and they straightened it out to score six straight, which showed what they can do,” Carne said.

The Cougars showed flashes on Thursday, as well. Senior captain and Alfred State College commit Abigail Lussier scored five goals to lead her team.

"When you coach, you have those few players who have the drive that she has to win and to pull the other players less experienced along with her, and you don't get a lot of those,” Carne said. “Abby's one of those players who's like that, and she's going to go off and play in college. She's going to do fantastic there."

Lussier takes the draws and does the bulk of the scoring, with fellow seniors Lucille White and Kiara Stephenson taking on the defensive leadership positions.

"I'm going to miss them without a doubt," Carne said. "They play their hearts out. What a defense with them back there."

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Scoring was a little too easy for Central on Thursday, as ConVal struggled scooping ground balls in the midfield, which put the pressure on the defense and led to 22 shots on goal and 10 saves for keeper Aubrey Niemela. 

Junior Hannah Daniels added a goal for ConVal, and Nora Whicker and Grace O'Brien kept up the attack with a few shots on goal, but every time ConVal scored, Central had an answer. 

"Losing's always disappointing," Carne said. "Without a doubt. It is, but it's more about building a team and building confidence as opposed to the Ws right now."

ConVal (1-6) was scheduled to host Goffstown Friday, Timberlane Saturday and then play at Hollis-Brookline Monday.