Year after year, the Waring School girls lacrosse team is the one to beat in the Independent Girls Conference.
In the eight years that Ambrose Devaney has been coaching at the Beverly school, the Mavericks have won the IGC crown seven times and finished one game behind in 2012. This spring, they were back on top again and are already looking forward to another strong season in 2014.
On paper this season might have appeared to be a rebuilding year for Waring, with four eighth graders and nine freshmen seeing considerable time on the field. But the girls, said Devaney, had a different idea.
“We knew this could be a rebuilding year because we were such a young team, and the plan was to build a solid foundation. But as soon as we got outside (in the spring), we knew we were going to be really good,” said junior Eleanor Lustig of Wenham, one of two Maverick players to record her 100th career goal this season along with senior Emily Friend. “We felt certain we could make a go of it.
“Our goal is the same every year: win the league. And the one thing that never changes from year to year is how supportive everyone is. We have such good senior leadership (that) the younger girls all look up to them, and they begin to love the sport of lacrosse. When you’re on the field you don’t feel any age difference; that’s unique to our team.
“We’re a small school,” added Lustig, taking about the co-educational day school, which has about 160 students in grades 6-12. “So there’s a great opportunity for the newcomers because we need them to be a vital part of our team.”
A South Hamilton native, Friend was highly recruited and finished the season as Waring’s leading scorer with 41 goals and 16 assists. The All-New England Prep School star will continue her career collegiately at Hobart & William Smith in Geneva, N.Y.