Women’s Varsity Lacrosse Loses to NCS in ISL Semifinal

The women’s varsity lacrosse team gathers on the Maret field. Photo by Jeremiah Farr.

The GDS women’s varsity lacrosse team lost in the semifinal of the Independent School League (ISL) tournament against National Cathedral School (NCS) after beating Maret in the quarterfinal.

On Thursday, May 12, GDS played the first-seed National Cathedral at NCS’ home field. When the two teams played each other earlier this season, NCS won by a score of 20–4. 

The first half went mostly NCS’ way, with GDS trailing 8–4 at halftime. GDS mounted a comeback in the second half, closing the gap to one goal, trailing 9–8 with 19 minutes left in the game. NCS then pulled ahead again, winning the game 16–10. 

A large bright spot for GDS was the play of sophomore Syuri Smith, who finished with five of GDS’ ten goals.

Senior Lizzie Rosenman, a captain of the team, thought that though the Hoppers lost, the game was a sign of good things to come. “We were really keeping up with them in the first half; we never really let them get ahead too much,” she said. “In the second half, we didn’t let down our guard—our shooting was amazing. Syuri was especially really good.”

The game ended GDS’ ISL tournament run, but the team will play in the District of Columbia State Athletic Association tournament starting on Tuesday, May 17.  

Prior to the tournament’s semifinal, the fifth-seed Hoppers played the fourth-seed Maret team. The game was neck-and-neck throughout the first half—GDS scored two goals in the first five minutes, but Maret came back, taking a 6–5 lead going into halftime.

The second half started out very poorly for GDS, as Maret scored four goals to the Hoppers’ one, giving Maret a 10–6 lead with 11 minutes left in the game. However, the Hoppers quickly bounced back and went on a run fueled by many saves by their goalkeeper, junior Victoria Levi, and a clutch goal by senior Kendall Bullock to tie the game at ten with just over five minutes remaining. 

Twenty-three seconds after Bullock tied the game, Smith scored for GDS, giving them the 11–10 lead—their first since they were up 5–4 in the first half. Junior Asha Adiga-Biro extended the lead to 12–10 with three minutes left, and GDS went on to win the game. 

“It was a great game. Everyone left it all out there today, and we had great leadership from our seniors,” head coach Parker Benedict said after the game. “The game was just filled with emotion, and it’s so exciting to win a first round game,” she said.

According to Benedict, six team starters will be graduating this year. “We have a great group of seniors who led this team all season, and we have some excellent underclassmen who are eager to keep growing and playing,” Benedict said.

“It was one of the best games of my high school career,” Rosenman said. “We came back from a huge lead, and everyone just kept fighting. The game was a way for us all to show what we could do.” Rosenman received the game ball, an award that Benedict gives at the end of every game to the most valuable player.

“She just always knew what to do on the draw and in the game. She kept making the good decisions, and that helped us win,” Benedict said of Rosenman.

Benedict believes that the ISL tournament signified the team’s positive development. “This has been a season of immense growth and improvement, and it’s a really good sign,” she said.

Rosenman agreed with Benedict’s sentiment. “It’s been one of the best seasons I’ve been a part of at GDS,” she said. “Lacrosse is the best team to be a part of and we’re improving so much every day, so the program is definitely going to keep growing.”