BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Governor Livingston Highlanders girls lacrosse team is gearing up for its second season under head coach Aileen Musynske.

After going 12-6 last season, most of the team’s core members return this season. Leading the way is junior midfielder Lindsay Gerrato, who will likely surpass 200 goals and 300 points this season.

Seniors Alice Caballero and Julia Gilpin and junior Paige Collins also return and will once again join Gerrato in the midfield. Junior Jenna Anastasio and freshman Elena Gerrato are the team’s new midfielders.

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Senior Steph Dowling and junior Riley Jankowski both return to man the Highlanders’ attack and this year will be joined by junior newcomer Isabel Matlin.

Junior Meryl Schaefer will lead the team’s defenders while junior Liz Morabito returns to man the goal.

You may notice the pattern in a string of returnees for Governor Livingston. That can only mean good news for Musynske, who is indeed very optimistic about the upcoming season.

“While dealing with some significant preseason injuries that will impact our first two weeks of game, we are optimistic that we will beat last year’s winning record and go farther in both the county and state tournaments,” Musynske said.

The team’s versatility is what will help it through the first two weeks of the season and beyond. Several of its key players manned multiple positions last seasons and were effective doing so.

But versatility won’t take you but so far if the other intangibles aren’t evident which is a reason why Musynske has been emphasizing effort as much as anything else.

But effort won’t be a problem for this team, which makes Musynske even more optimistic about the season.

“Our biggest strength is hard work and amazing effort for 60 full minutes, even if we have to play people totally out of position due to injuries,” Musynske said.  

The 2016 season could be a special one for the Highlanders. If the team manages to overcome the early season injuries like Musynske believes it will, the sky will almost certainly be the limit.