By John Orrell, Contributing Writer
Grafton – Sometimes in life, it’s difficult to shake the past and reflect on the future that lies ahead.
Just don’t tell that to the Grafton High girls’ varsity lacrosse team.
Twice in as many years the team has fallen short of a much-coveted District title departing Worcester’s Commerce Bank Field at Foley Stadium dropping matchups in final round competition. It’s an experience that players and coaches are determined not to replicate, particularly seniors who want nothing more than a title before passing through the halls of GHS for the final time.
The team is deeply into its playoff push full throttle winning a 19-5 romp over Notre Dame Academy on May 31 before turning the corner into June and handing Nipmuc Regional a 14-3 drubbing that sends the four-seed Indians on to Central/West Division 2 semifinals against an opponent to be determined.
Against the Rebels, it was Erin Tyldesley and Gianna DiPinto both scoring four times while Allie Fasold added a hat trick to lead the Indians in Central/West Division 2 first round competition.
In the Nipmuc matchup, it was Grafton (18-3) opening up a four goal advantage that they would never relinquish. Tyldesley and Fasold recorded hat tricks while Shannon Graham, DiPinto and Hazel Wood all scored twice.
“I think we really played well both offensively and defensively,” said DiPinto of the rout over the visiting Warriors. “We really pulled it together today. We’re so excited to keep going.
“We’ve lost in the District finals for two years in a row. We know we have a good team and we want to go farther than Districts and on to States. We keep telling ourselves every day that we want to move on and not find ourselves in the same spot we were last year. I know we can do it.”
The team is led by accomplished and talented senior co-captains that include Allie Fasold, DiPinto, Cassie Moisan and Lauren Lyver. Their leadership on and off the field has been exceptional, say coaches, as the season progressed with younger players new to the system looking to them for guidance.
“We’ve done a lot of team bonding things and just being together on the field and pushing each other to work harder makes a difference,” explained Lyver. “We’re always there for each other. We always have each other’s backs. That helps build the camaraderie.
“This is a fun team to be on. Every day at practice we give it all that we have. We’re supportive of each other and we all have the same goal. That’s what makes us so close.”
“We get really excited before each game. We have a team huddle and try to set goals and get the energy going,” added Moisan. “That continues through the whole game and we push each other to do well. We all have confidence in each other and that works well as a team.
“Everybody has such a good attitude on the field,” Fasold emphasized. “We’re very confident in each other so we come out strong every single time. No nerves at all. We all have the same common goal and we keep it in the back of our heads every day.”
For coaches Renee Bailey and Karl Moisan, this team has been as good as it gets not just on the field but off.
“These kids are fantastic. They all get along,” remarked Karl Moisan. They’re always singing and having fun but are serious when things count. It’s been great.”