In 2016, St. John’s lost a girls lacrosse showdown to Elizabeth Seton in overtime — a game the Cadets felt they let slip away. On Friday afternoon, they avenged that loss, thrashing the Roadrunners 17-6. The victory was also a measuring stick for a team that believes it’s on the cusp of big things.
“We have all of this anger in us because we know we can be so much better than we were last year,” said junior attacker Grace Segreti. “Our potential is really unlimited. We’re such a young team, and we have so much talent. We can really beat some of the best teams in the WCAC.”
The Cadets’ offense was led by junior Dana Cleary, who had five goals. Segreti added four more, and freshman attacker Ashley Viglione notched a hat trick.
The victory gave the team a surge of momentum as it prepares for a big week of league games, including a showdown at Holy Cross on Thursday at 4 p.m.
“We can be good with confidence — confidence in our system is growing; confidence in our skills is there,” St. John’s coach Aubrey Whittier said. “It’s based on trusting our commit, trusting the system and trusting each other.”
The team has looked to its co-captains — Segreti and junior defender Stephanie Heffron — for leadership.
“They’re our leaders on each side of the field,” said Whittier. “Grace does a great job of communicating and dictating the attack. The team trusts her and are listening to her calls; when they can’t hear me from the sidelines, they look to Grace. On defense, Stephanie is in control. She is in a position on defense where she can help players to know where to be.”
The team is relying on junior captains because there are no seniors on the roster.
“I’ve never had a team with no seniors,” Whittier said. “This is my fourth year. The junior class was the first class that came in under my reign. This is the first year that everyone at St. John’s has played for me for their entire high school career. They know my style; they listen; they know what I expect.”
The team is also exceptional at goalie with sophomore Sabrina Leatherwood, who saw extensive playing time as a freshman.
“She has stepped into the starting goalie position and has dedicated year-round efforts to improving,” said Whittier. “She is composed. We are really lucky — her clears are strong, and she doesn’t get rattled. She’s strong on those 8-meters.”
Leatherwood anchored the Cadets’ defense, which locked down on Seton. “We tried some new defenses; our zones worked really well. We were talking and sliding,” said Heffron.
Meanwhile, the Cadets offense relied on the team’s strong connection between junior midfielder Molly Brock and Segreti.
“They have been playing together since middle school,” said Whittier. “They still play club. They really connect well. They understand how each other cuts. They know how to support each other — with a good pass or cut.”
The Cadets will look to build on their 4-2 record when they visit Holy Cross on Thursday at 4 p.m. and Quince Orchard on Saturday at 2 p.m.