VERONA, NJ - After a strong 2018 season and flushed with a lot of athletic talent the Verona girls lacrosse team is continuing to eye incremental goals for the program in 2019.

    “I’d love to see us get past both the first round of Counties and States,” said Head Coach Fay Lonsinger.  

    Last season the Hillbillies had a good year finishing 10-8 on the season. The squad only managed to fall by 2 or more goals just three times all year. The group returns on the heels of 2018’s identity. Which proved that the squad is a “second half” team.

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    “I’d like to do a better job of starting hot, and the other element is figuring out how we get the mental toughness to come out on top in those one to two goal games,” said Lonsinger.

    In the cage Verona will rely on Skyler Freedman. The returning junior was solid in notching 121 saves last season while posting a 9-8 record.

    “[Freedman]’s definitely ready to go, she comes up really big, she’s real aggressive and she’s not scared of the plays,” said Lonsinger.

    Defensively Verona will utilize Captain Maeve McGinley as their key piece. Lara Tole, who will also play midfield and Erin Kiernan will return to the unit and help as the most experienced part of the Hillbillies squad. Annalie Ying and Megan Moran will compete for playing time to round out the group for Verona.

    “A lot of it looks the same, which is great, I think we just need to work on communicating and covering the middle of the field,” said Lonsinger.

    In the midfield, Verona will have the opportunity to prove themselves in 2019. Clara Frizzi, Maggie Lonsinger, and Jenika Ying will all work in the transition offense for the squad.  The trio have experience playing together from years of club competition that Lonsinger hopes to capitalize on.

    “I think there’s a fun chemistry there between the three of them,” said Lonsinger.

    Captain Julia Mackey will lead the squad’s attack from the front. Last year the senior notched 11 goals and seven assists for the season to be among the team leaders in both categories.

    “[Mackey] did great things for us last year so I have great expectations for her this year,” said Lonsinger.

    Ally May Madigan, Maddie Gallagher, Catherine Welsh and Ella Moore will join Mackey up front. Madigan is transitioning from a midfielder position while Moore and Welsh will look to get their first significant taste of varsity play.

    Currently with a coaching staff that is being finalized and a few short weeks until opening day the group is focusing on conditioning to prepare.

    “So far it’s been mostly stick work and concepts here and there,” said Lonsinger.

    Verona will continue to take practices and scrimmages day by day as they await their March 28 opening matchup against Millburn.

    “I think they have terrific heart and want to [succeed], the effort is there and there’s a lot of possibility,” said Lonsinger.

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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