Preview: Girls Looking for 4th Straight LAX Title
Harvey’s girls varsity lacrosse team enters the 2023 season wanting more of the same … more as in a fourth straight Housatonic Valley Athletic League (HVAL) championship. Head coach Greg Janos, who started the girls lacrosse program and guided the Cavaliers to four league titles over the span of a decade, enters his 11th season on the sidelines believing his 2023 squad is poised to make a long playoff run and capture another first-place trophy.
“Our strength will be in our numbers as we have 25 girls on the roster,” Coach Janos said. “We have a great, solid, strong group of veterans returning who will be tasked with leading the team this year,” the coach said. “We will be strong defensively, with speed in the midfield, and a ramped up offense,” added the head coach who will be assisted by second-year coach John Peters and Taylor Fisher, her first year. Coach Peters will work with the goalies and help coordinate the defense while Coach Fisher will direct the attack.
Having lost last year’s leading scorer Ellie Kalman to graduation, the Cavs will turn to senior captain Juliet Jaques at midfield to help pace the offense. Jaques, an All-NEPSAC and HVAL All-League selection in 2022, finished second on the team in scoring last season with 32 goals and a remarkable 31 assists. Coach Janos says Jaques is “a triple threat with her speed, strength, and skill.”
Coach Janos also expects big things on attack from sophomore captain Emily Sorio who had a breakout season in 2022, scoring 19 goals and assisting on five others. She earned an HVAL All-League selection and an All-NEPSAC honorable mention. The coach sizes up Sorio as a player who features “draw control, toughness, and a strong desire to compete.”
Much is also expected from junior captains Katie McCulloch, a defensive whiz quite adept at stopping Harvey’s opponents’ best players. McCulloch was an HVAL All-League selection last spring and earned All-NEPSAC honorable mention. Coach Janos describes McCulloch as “tough and talented, a shut-down defensive player who is good in the transition.”
Two other returning players are expected to make significant contributions. Coach Janos describes junior Riannah Wallach on attack as “a strong, quick, ground ball machine with much veteran experience.” The coach also singled out senior Emma Galgano entering her seventh season of varsity. “On attack, Emma has speed, can shoot, wields a quick stick, and knows the game,” Coach Janos said.
Two newcomers look to be playing plenty of minutes in their first year. Senior Zoe Melnick will guard the net. “Zoe jumped in front of the net one day and it all just came so naturally to her,” Coach Janos said. “We're all excited to see her in action,” he added. The coach also believes ninth grader Chloe Eisenberg on attack will see acion. “Chloe’s a hard worker, talented, and has plenty of experience,” the coach said.
Looking ahead to the season, Coach Janos sees a large roster as a positive. “We have over two team’s worth of players, so each day everyone will be competing for a starting spot. It will help push everyone to be their best and play their best. We will have a lot of depth on the bench and plenty of fresh legs to jump in at any time.”
Coach Janos sees King and Wooster as posing the two toughest matchups for Harvey, but the coach is not taking any opponent lightly. “We’re the top team again and have a pretty big target on our backs,” the coach said, adding, “Everyone wants to be the team to snatch our crown.”
The girls varsity lacrosse team opens up on the road in Stamford against King, March 31 at 4 p.m.