The final score did not concern Dan Segal on March 16.
Although the Chapel Hill girls lacrosse coach had just watched his team lose 18-2 against Cardinal Gibbons, he took the result with a grain of salt, knowing right away it had provided much-needed learning experience for his team.
“This is what makes you better,” Segal said. “If you want to have a chance in the playoffs, which is obviously our ultimate goal, it’s not going to help you to beat up on somebody 20-0. It’s going to help you to play in these tough games.”
The loss was the first of just two – Segal likely had the same approach to his team’s 19-3 loss to Pennsylvania’s Harriton High last week – in what’s been a good year for the Tigers.
One season removed from a 14-4 campaign that ended with a second round exit from the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, this year’s Chapel Hill team (10-2, 6-1) looks even stronger thanks to its offensive performance.
Chapel Hill is averaging 15.6 goals per game and has topped the 20-goal mark four times.
According to Segal, The Tigers’ offensive success is the result of newfound depth and a collective willingness to be selfless. Of Chapel Hill’s 189 goals, 97 have been assisted, and junior attacker Shannon Wulff leads the team with 78 points (44 goals, 34 assists).
“Our offense this year has been a better team offense than we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Segal, who is in his third year coaching at Chapel Hill, said. “In the past we’ve relied a lot on getting the ball to our better players and having them go 1-on-1 to score. This year we have a ton of assists.”
One player who Segal has always remained pleased with and proud of is senior midfielder and co-captain Lundy Fine, an Elon recruit.
While she’s a defensive-minded player, Fine has done taken on a bigger role on offense for Chapel Hill to help the team, which she has done well in.
“I’ve scored a lot more than I have in my past seasons,” Fine said. “I’ve been working on that, which was my goal for myself this season.”
Fine has 39 goals and 18 assists (57 points). She recorded 44 points in 17 games last year.
In addition to Fine, sophomore midfielder Alleigh Kempf (40 goals, 11 assists) and junior midfielder Anne Crabill (27 goals, 10 assists) have also factored in on offense, while junior attacker Julia Ziaee has done a good job with draws for the Tigers.
While Chapel Hill is still dealing with some of the struggles that come with replacing several senior defenders from last season, Segal said he’s happy with where his team is at right now.
“We’ve had a lot of success on the field,” Segal said. “But more importantly, we’re working really hard in practice. We’re getting better everyday.”