EXETER – The Wyoming Area girls lacrosse program is growing quickly, trying to catch up with the rest of the Wyoming Valley Conference.
The Warriors won two WVC games as a first-year team, pulled off a preliminary-round playoff upset of rival Pittston Area and made sure not to stop there.
Eight players from the team played in a winter indoor league at the Wyoming Valley Sports Dome and when coach Carl DeLuca opened the second season of practice the Warriors had seven more players than a year ago.
With 31 players now on the roster, Wyoming Area will add junior varsity games this season. The highlight will be May 9 when Senior Day is held at the football stadium with a girls-boys doubleheader, starting with JV games for each and finishing under the lights.
“The bulk of my team is sophomores and juniors who all were out last year,” DeLuca said. “We have a lot of defensive players and some other experience coming back.”
Senior Jordan Kelly, the team’s leading scorer, returns at midfield. She was a second-team Times Leader WVC all-star last year.
Claudia Waltz, another senior, is back with her.
The defense features returning starters Nicole Zaleppa, Bella Waltz and Maddy Johnson, all sophomores.
“We’re still a very young team,” DeLuca said.
Amber Rought, Caitlin Butchko and Lila Donnelly give the Warriors experience on the attack as well.
“I was happy with how we finished last year,” DeLuca said.
The idea is to keep moving up, crossing the .500 point and becoming more of a challenge to the top teams.
Experience will help the returning players do their part and the new additions to learning the game to try to provide additional support.
“We’ve been working on our ballhandling; passing and catching,” DeLuca said. “The new girls are picking up everything very well.”
The Warriors place twice each against their Division 2 rivals – defending champion Lake-Lehman, Dallas, Scranton Prep and Tunkhannock – and once against Division 1 teams Wyoming Seminary, Coughlin, Crestwood, Delaware Valley and Pittston Area in their 13-game conference schedule.