Athletes in other sports have grown to love lax
By Mike Zhe
May 25, 2014 2:00 AM
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Hannah Folger and Korinne Bohunsky have played soccer “forever.” Lindsey Poirier is regarded as one of the top schoolgirl field hockey players in the state of Maine.
But what they’re experiencing each spring is a growing fondness for another sport, and what they’ve been able to help the Marshwood High School girls lacrosse team accomplish has them rethinking their athletic identities.
“Soccer was always my sport; I’ve played it forever,” said Folger, a senior attack. “But by the end of soccer season, I was kind of ready to be done.
“I’m not ready to be done here. I’m going to be really sad when it’s over and I don’t want it to be.”
Doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon.
The Hawks enter this week with a 7-2 record in Western Maine Class A, which includes Thursday’s 11-10, double-overtime win against Eastern Maine power Cheverus. The team’s two losses — 7-6 to Massabesic and 13-11 to Scarborough, two teams ahead of it in the standings — indicate it can play with anybody.
“It’s an interesting year,” said Marshwood coach Bernie Marvin. “It’s wide open. There’s no undefeated team in the state, which is unusual.”
It’s an interesting team, too, with four freshmen and three sophomores playing big roles on a team that graduated 98 goals off last year’s team that finished 11-4 and lost in the regional semifinals.
“It’s a different dynamic than last year,” said Folger. “But we all get along really well and every single person contributes. We don’t have anyone out there not working hard or not contributing out there.”
The team’s leaders are good at lacrosse, but not lacrosse players in the traditional sense. Still, Poirier and Bohunsky, both juniors, were good enough to make a Maine All-Star team that’s in Bel Air, Md., this weekend for U.S. Lacrosse’s National Women’s Tournament.
“I’ve obviously grown up playing field hockey,” said Poirier, whose mom, Lisa Truesdale, coaches the varsity. “But it’s nice coming out here. (Lacrosse) is definitely tied for the top now.”
Poirier’s 35 goals and 53 points from the midfield lead the team. An All-Conference selection as a sophomore, she’s picked up where she left off and made a name for herself in a second sport.
“If you ask her she’ll say field hockey,” said Marvin, “but if you ask me I’ll say lacrosse.”
“It’s like other sports because you have to be so aware of off-ball movement,” said Poirier. “Lacrosse is almost like a combination of field hockey and soccer in a sense that in soccer, you send a leading pass to the space and you’re also using your stick, like field hockey. It’s just an awesome sport.”
Bohunsky, a junior midfielder with a strong soccer background, has already topped the 17 goals she had last year with 26.
“It’s a match with soccer,” she conceded. “Before it was soccer but now lacrosse is fighting for the top.”
Another team leader, winger Brittany Bossi, is an accomplished skier. Defender Macy Morrision came over from the basketball court.
“I have athletes,” said Marvin, “but I don’t know if one of them would identify themselves as a lacrosse player. These kids are just good athletes in other sports and that’s why the pressure gets handled so well.”
While Poirier and Bohunsky had big offensive roles last season, it’s players like Folger and Bossi who have elevated their outputs. Through nine games, Bossi has already topped her 11-7-18 output from last spring. Folger had a modest three goals and three assists as a junior, and this year is already at 19-12-31.”She had that in the first half of our first game,” said Marvin. “She was really just a possession player (last year), not really looked at to score. She’s really worked on her skills and confidence, and she’s really a complete player.”
With last week’s win against Cheverus boosting the confidence, and the two tight losses serving as motivation, the Hawks head into their final three games knowing they’re poised to make some noise when the calendar turns to June.
“We’re never a team to count out, ever,” said Folger.
Certainly not in this sport.