ME Girls Lax Hoping For An Encore Performance


Is an encore in the offing for the Manchester Essex girls’ lacrosse team?

In 2022, the Hornets made it all the way to the MIAA Div. 4 State Final game, falling to Dover-Sherborn in title game.  Attempting to surpass those lofty heights two years in a row would be no easy feat, but Manchester Essex coach Nan Gorton believes this spring’s squad will rise to the type of challenge that following up on last year would present.

“There is pressure, in the sense that we want to meet our expectations, and our expectations are high, but as athletes I think we all thrive on pressure,” says Gorton.  “We have proven that we are a good program, and we want that to continue.  We will continue to work hard at practice, trust each other in games and enjoy the process.  That’s our recipe.  It won’t change.  If we do that, the program will be successful no matter what our record.”

The good news is that 11 players return from that very successful 2022 squad, including captains Hadley Levendusky, Paige Garlitz and Ella Chafe.  The three upperclassmen (Levendusky and Garlitz are seniors, Chafe is a junior) have so far set a positive tone that has been infectious up and down the roster.

“Each player is a leader both on and off the field,” Gorton says of the trio.  “On the field, each is extremely versatile and highly motivated.  They also all possess a high lacrosse IQ.  But what makes these captains special is the way they keep the intensity on the field high, capture each player’s focus, and maintain both with enormous amounts of fun.  It is just really fun being out there.  Practices go by way too fast and there is an immeasurable amount of positivity from top to bottom.”

The three captains aren’t the only returning players who will be counted on as key contributors to the team, including goaltender Brigid Carovillano.

“Brigid Carovillano, our goalie, was named the Lacrosse Athlete of the Year by the Boston Globe last year for Division 4,” says Gorton.  “This was a huge honor for the then-freshman, so she is certainly a key player for us.”

It’s still pretty early – the first game of the season is slated for March 31 at home against Pentucket (4 p.m., Hyland Field) – but Gorton points to the team’s high-energy sessions so far as a positive sign for when the games begin for real on Friday.

“We just chose the team, so we need to work on everything,” explains the coach, “but so far, the energy on the field is tremendous, and I believe I have a group of highly motivated athletes who want to exceed their own expectations.”

She adds: “We do not have players seeking to be super stars this year, but rather we have players who want a strong bond as teammates.  I am excited to see where this culture takes us.  I know it will be a fun ride.”

coach, nan gorton, lacrosse, paul clark, goalie, manchester essex coach, hadley levendusky, paige garlitz, brigid carovillano, player, the boston globe, pentucket, ella chafe, lacrosse athlete