A fourth-year varsity program, the Sanderson girls lacrosse team has approached the .500 mark the past couple of seasons only to come up a few wins short each time. This year’s team hasn’t gotten as close and currently stands 2-10 overall, but Spartans coach Alyssa Temple-Siar feels like it won’t be long until her team reaches that standard.
“I feel like it’s attainable,” Temple-Siar says of a winning season. “What we struggle with is we don’t have a JV team, we don’t have players coming onto varsity with confidence. We have to go from 0 to 100 in one season. ... It’s tough when you have girls who have never picked up a stick before, younger players who don’t have experience playing at this level.”
Sanderson does feature six seniors in the starting lineup, so there is some experience to help those younger players overcome some growing pains.
And the decisive 18-4 victory over Rolesville on March 7 shows that Sanderson is capable of big things, but its close losses show the need to play all 50 minutes.
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The Spartans have squandered leads first in an 11-7 season-opening loss to Enloe, then again in an 11-10 double-overtime setback to Jordan. Losses to Wake Forest (10-7) and Heritage (13-9) were also close.
“I hope this will give the girls some confidence,” Temple-Siar said. “We just don’t know how to finish yet, but hopefully it will come. They also need to learn how to play from the start of the game, not the middle.”
Madi Blashaw leads the team with 19 goals and six assists. Paighton Hill has 15 goals and four assists, and Merritt Dickinson has 10 goals and two assists.
Spartans senior co-captain Eliza Hardy knows the program is aiming for more than just wins.
“It’s not just enough to win, we have to improve our skills while we’re playing,” Hardy said.