Swampscott's Jackie Frisoli (left) is a key returner for the Big Blue girls lacrosse team this spring. (Item File Photo)

Plenty of new faces for Swampscott girls lacrosse

SWAMPSCOTT -- The Swampscott girls lacrosse team has new faces in the mix as the 2018 season quickly approaches. A united team will be important this season, as the Big Blue look to qualify for the state tournament.

"We are trying to make them as united as possible so they will operate that way on the field, because ultimately that's how teams are the most effective," said Swampscott coach Al Eaton.  "Seven seniors graduated, six were starters, which means there are a lot of shoes to fill this season.

"We are trying to make sure we can get all the new faces, to integrate with the old faces so we can work as a single unit."

Emerson Laundry was a big contributor as freshman last year as a freshman, and Eaton is hoping she will have the same stamina as last year. Other key players to watch this season are Jackie Frisoli on defense, and Mary Miles an attack midfielder.

The Big Blue didn't play Gloucester last season, so the expectations for Monday's home opener are up in the air.

"At practice everybody is always going to look good, but when you get into a game environment you don't know what's going to happen," said Eaton. "I have no idea what Gloucester is like this year."

To win the game, Eaton will be relying on defense, midfield and attack to all work in tandem to keep the ball moving in their favor.

"It's not just my defense, I rely on midfield and attack to contribute because the midfield and attack can't hold on to the ball offensively if the defense is going to spend too much time in play," he said.  

Eaton knows that teamwork will be the key to success.

"We are more reliant on making it a team effort rather than counting on just a few individuals," said Eaton. "In a sport like this, one player who doesn't do their job is the breakdown that can cause bad things to happen."

Eaton sees some challenges ahead on Swampscott's schedule, mainly with Northeastern Conference foe Marblehead, as the Magicians have been a hard-hitting team.  

"Marblehead is always the class of our conference, there's no question about it," Eaton said. "That's who knocked us out of the (state) tournament last year. We will have to face them twice and that will be a huge challenge."

Eaton is hoping to either match or succeed last year's positive outcome, despite having a challenging schedule this season.

Eaton also noted the rise in popularity of girls lacrosse.

"When I first started with Swampscott we taught everybody how to play lacrosse as a freshman," Eaton said. "Now I've got kids who are coming in who have already been playing club. It's the No. 1 growing sport in the country."

Swampscott opens the season Monday when the Big Blue host Gloucester.

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