Katie Eck knew her North Hagerstown girls lacrosse team would have talent in 2012.
The question was: Would the talent jell as a team?
The answer: Absolutely.
Boosted by twin sisters with a deep background in the game and a strong freshman class, Eck guided the Hubs to a 10-win season and the MVAL Antietam Conference title.
Eck is The Herald-Mail’s Washington County Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
“I think everyone who came in new this year contributed, they all stepped up and did a great job,” Eck said. “But we had a real good core of players returning, too. So I thought we could have a pretty good year.”
The Hubs finished the season 10-3, which included an eight-game winning streak. They were unbeaten in the MVAL Antietam. They finished the season with back-to-back close losses to Middletown — one in the regular-season finale, one in the Class 3A/2A West quarterfinals.
Yet it was a win in a preseason scrimmage against Middletown that made believers out of Eck and her players.
“The Middletown scrimmage was big,” Eck said. “There was no scoreboard on, so the girls were just out there playing lacrosse. When we told them they were up by two goals, they realized that they could play and compete with the Frederick County teams. That was great for our confidence as a team.”
The Hubs’ core of goalie Emma Moss, attack Samantha Culp and midfielder Maddie Palkovitz was made that much stronger with the additions of sophomores Leah and Kayla Peterson, who transferred to North from Saint James.
After combining for 92 goals as freshmen at Saint James, the pair teamed to top the 100-goal mark with the Hubs and helped open up scoring lanes for other players as well.
At the end of her fourth season as North’s coach, Eck’s team is now built upon players with extensive youth league and club lacrosse experience. And it only looks to get stronger.
“It’s really nice to have HAYLA (Hagerstown Area Youth Lacrosse Association) as our feeder program,” Eck said. “This rising senior group is the first to come through with that real strong outside experience in HAYLA and club programs and now we have some really well rounded players.
“We lost five seniors from this year’s team, five really good girls that we’ll miss. But with the core we have returning, and the eighth-graders coming in look strong, the future looks very bright for us.”