By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
With 11 players returning to varsity, 2020 had the potential to be an extremely special season for Medfield High School girls lacrosse. Unfortunately, the Warriors never got the chance to take the field due to COVID-19.
Medfield was set to be led by three senior captains: Erin Cooney, Jordan MacLean and Kayla McNeil. Cooney, who will attend Villanova in the fall, says she and her teammates were excited to showcase their talent and compete for a state championship this season.
“I had a lot of confidence in our team this year,” said Cooney. “We were all so close. We had our own individual strengths and talents, but the chemistry we shared would have translated into a killer team on the field. There were a few awesome freshman that would have made great contributions to our team, and all of the other kids trying out had a lot of potential. I think we would’ve been awesome this year, and it stinks we weren’t able to prove that to the rest of the TVL.”
Cooney also says the work she and her teammates put in throughout the offseason was much greater, compared to previous years. With this extra preparation, along with the motivation to get back to the postseason, Cooney believes the work she and her fellow seniors put into this lost season will translate into 2021 for the rest of the team coming back next spring.
“This year more than the other years, our team had been super focused on owning the preseason,” said Cooney. “We worked out at Compete [Strength and Conditioning] for two hours every Saturday, and leading up the season, when it was nice out, we had captains practices most days. We came short of the playoffs last year and that was devastating, so we definitely weren’t going to let that happen this year. It was our goal to make it to playoffs, and to peak in the postseason by improving throughout the regular season. We wanted to prioritize team strength, and we were planning on lifting and running every week together with a shorter practice to follow that specific day. We were craving to compete for the state title, and I know these girls will get it done next year.”
Throughout quarantine, Cooney and her teammates have been keeping in touch virtually via text and Zoom. The Medfield girls lacrosse team social media accounts recently posted a video of all the girls doing drills and doing everything in their power to stay in shape, all while abiding by social distancing rules.
“To stay connected throughout all this, we’ve been keeping in touch through Zoom and text,” said Cooney. “It’s been awesome to talk with everyone and it’s been easy to stay focused on lacrosse when everyone is so pumped for it together. We put out a video on Twitter and Instagram to keep up program morale, and our coach approached us recently with a volunteering opportunity to help out some old folks in the town with spring chores they need to get done. So even throughout this crazy time, we’re still together... socially distant, of course.”
“Everyone has been making sure to stay in great shape for the season by going on runs, lifting, and making sure to play wall ball or shoot around in a backyard or at the turf. A few of us worked out with Compete Strength and Conditioning’s online program, where we were provided with lifts, conditioning, and stick work to do every day. Keeping in touch with everyone has been super motivating, and I know no one is slacking when it comes to training.”
Reflecting back on her time throughout the last four years, Cooney says she and her fellow senior counterparts will always cherish every aspect of being members of Medfield High School girls lacrosse.
“Playing lacrosse for Medfield High school these past four years has been amazing, and I’m going to miss it so much,” said Cooney. “The program wasn’t just a team, but a family. I knew I could rely on my teammates for anything, even just putting a smile on my face, which I cherished more than they know. Playing with them was so fun, and I’m going to miss the team camaraderie a lot.”
During her time in the program, Cooney and her teammates made an endless amount of memories, both on and off the field. Two specific memories that stick out for Cooney? Upsetting Foxboro in the quarterfinals of the Division II East Sectional her sophomore year in 2018, followed by then-captain Maggie McCarthy establishing her dominance in practice.
“When I reflect on my past four years, I have a few memories that stand out, like when we beat Foxboro in the second round of the playoffs after they crushed us in the regular season,” said Cooney. “They thought they could look past us that game, and it was a super accomplishing feeling when we beat them. However, I’m going to miss the little things the most, like practices and team dinners. I’ll always laugh when I think about the tough competitions we’d have at practices, like when Maggie McCarthy bodied our old coach Kath in a game of steal the bacon. I’ll always treasure the crazy spirit days and team sleeps, I’ll miss the banter, the sideline chants, and the bond I formed with all the girls. Medglax, you have my heart - thanks for everything.”
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.