Wyoming Area is not only adding girls to its lacrosse program, it is adding girls who are already experienced in the sport.
“The sport is growing for us,” said Lady Warriors coach Carl DeLuca. “We have 10 freshmen girls and all 10 freshmen girls played lacrosse at least one or two years at a club level that we started five or six years ago with Valley Laxerz.”
Working with the Valley Laxerz, DeLuca has grown the Wyoming Area girls lacrosse program from 21 players in its 2015 debut to 25 players last year to 38 this season.
The quality is increasing with the quantity.
Caity Butchko, a senior attack/midfielder, is in her second year as team captain and is scheduled to become the first Wyoming Area player to continue into college women’s lacrosse. A second-team, all-star choice by the Times Leader last season, Butchko recently committed to play at King’s College.
Butchko is joined by two other seniors and a large junior class in bringing experience into this season.
Kara Muscatelli, who came off the bench at attack last season, and Julia Bonomo, a former defender who made the move last year to start playing some at goalie, are the other seniors. Bonomo has been committed to learning the goalie position, according to DeLuca.
The 16 juniors on the team include 12 returnees.
Three-year starters Lila Donnelly on attack, Lindsey Poziak at midfield, Nicole Zalepa and Hannah Hinkle on defense and Bella Waltz at both defense and midfield lead that group.
Madison Johnson, Carla Urban and Sara Miller are all midfielders who made some starts and got significant playing time when they didn’t.
“I use anywhere between nine and 11 middies per game to keep legs fresh,” DeLuca said.
Sophomore Brandi Sorokin is another player who moved between being a part-time starter and key substitute. She plays defense and helps out in the midfield.
Tierney Porfirio and Cassidy Orzel could be the first of the freshmen to make contributions.
“We have a lot of freshmen that are probably going to see playing time,” DeLuca said.
After going 3-10 to finish fourth out of five teams in the WVC, the Lady Warriors appear to have pieces in place to improve in what is now a 12-team league with the addition of Abington Heights and Hazleton Area.
“We took our high school team up to the (Wyoming Valley Sports) Dome,” DeLuca said. “They got a lot of experience. They played very well there this year.”
The conference will have a new format with teams playing each other once each for an 11-game schedule.
The original April 3 starting date for league play could be in jeopardy because of the weather and field conditions this month.
Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at email@example.com.