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Girls Lacrosse Seeks to Stay on Top With New Coach

Quinn Schmidt, Staff Reporter

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Over the past few years, the Southern Lehigh girls lacrosse team has proved itself to be a powerhouse. The Spartans won a District XI title in 2015, and despite formidable opponents and numerous injuries, they mustered an 18-8 record in 2016. However, they are under new leadership this season as Jen Hurlburt steps up to take over the head coaching position from Kim Checkeye, who led the Spartans to district quarterfinals last year.

“Southern Lehigh has a strong history of success in girls lacrosse, based on sound fundamentals and game IQ. Our coaching staff intends to continue this tradition,” Hurlburt said.   “Collectively, we have tremendous respect for everything that the previous coaches have done to develop this program and we want to keep the program on a winning trajectory.”

Hurlburt has had plenty of athletic experience with lacrosse on and off the field. She was elected to the Division III All-American team as a midfielder while attending McDaniel College, where she also played basketball. After obtaining her MBA at Penn State, she enlisted as an Army air defense officer. Recently, Hurlburt has been coaching an Emmaus middle school club team where she was honored as the 2013 Lower Macungie Athletics Coach of the Year.

Hulburt will have to use all of her talent to rebuild a Southern Lehigh team that graduated a handful of skilled seniors last year, including Division I recruits Baleigh Bradley, Lauren Wolfe, and Bridget Cerciello, who accounted for most of the team’s offensive productivity. Filling these spots will be underclassmen who have yet to compete at the varsity level.

“I think our biggest weakness is having to all work together with all new starters and a new coaching staff,” senior midfielder Mady Singley said.

Singley will be relied upon to fill the void and become the catalyst of a young Spartan team. On the defensive end, seniors Michelle Hendricks and Hannah Checkeye will have to escalate their level of play along with many inexperienced underclassmen.

“I think we all will be able to step up,” Hendricks said, “ we have a lot of potential and a lot of good talent coming.”

Coach Hurlburt will have to prepare this youthful team before they are thrown into the gauntlet of District XI girls lacrosse. The responsibility will fall on coach Hurlburt’s shoulders to plug in the right lineup and lead the Spartans through what looks to be a difficult rebuilding year. The Spartans opened the season with a  5-4 win over Nazareth.

 

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Girls Lacrosse Seeks to Stay on Top With New Coach