What a season it was for the Nothwood girls lacrosse team.
The Chargers lost in the semifinals of the 3A state tournament to Croatan, 15-8, last Tuesday, but before then head coach Larry Fritsche’s team was on a wild run of success. After losing back-to-back games to East Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill on April 19 and 21, Northwood won its final two regular season games and beat its first three playoff opponents by an average of 13.3 goals per game.
Croatan went on to win the 3A state final with a 10-7 victory over Bishop McGuinness on Saturday. The Cougars finished the season with an overall record of 19-2 and averaged a hair over 14 goals per game this season.
Northwood, meanwhile, ended its season with an overall record of 13-7, setting a new program record for wins in the process. The Chargers finished third in their conference standings behind two teams — Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill — which had a combined record of 36-8 overall.
The Chargers’ top scorer in 2023 was Mia Collins, who had a county-high 85 goals to go with 23 assists. Junior Ryan Tinervin racked up 61 goals and 16 assists, while senior Grace Coasta totaled 55 goals and 27 assists. In the cage, sophomore Silvy Hopp, who had 129 saves in 870 minutes of action this spring.
This offseason, Northwood will graduate 11 seniors, including Collins, Costa and Sophie Cremeans (32 goals, 28 assists). The team’s top returning scorer next season outside of Tinervin will be junior Ella Boecke (13 goals, three assists).
This was Northwood’s fifth season as a varsity team. The Chargers have come a long way since going 0-11 in their inaugural season in 2019. Their second season in 2020 was disrupted by Covid-19, and their third ended after the team amassed a record of 4-8. These past two seasons have shown that Fritsche’s squad is in a solid place heading into the future, even if they do graduate a handful of seniors this offseason.
It normally takes time to build a team culture, and the Chargers look like they have a solid one in place.
Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.