Story and photos by Nate Marrero | Contributing writer
WINTER GARDEN There’s nothing quite like accomplishing something for the first time, and as such, the West Orange girls lacrosse team’s district championship victory April 8 was particularly special because it was the first district title for everyone on the team’s current roster.
With its 18-0 drubbing of East Ridge, West Orange (17-3) secured its first district title since the FHSAA began overseeing the sport in 2008. Prior to that, the Warriors had had significant success when the sport was overseen by US Lacrosse, including three appearances in the state semifinals.
“We have 10 seniors that started on varsity as freshmen, so it’s very exciting to get them their first district championship,” head coach Mary Hopkins said.
The Warriors started off fast and established their dominance early, jumping out to a 9-0 lead just seven minutes and 40 seconds into the first half. West Orange went into halftime with a commanding 12-0 lead and coasted the rest of the way to its 18-0 win.
The Warriors had a balanced attack, with Julia Dennis leading the way with six goals.
As District 9 champion, West Orange will host Lake Highland Prep, which won District 10, in the First-Round Play-In Game at 7 p.m. April 15. The Highlanders are 15-1 and ranked No. 1 in the state by LaxPower.com’s computer rankings. West Orange is No. 9 in those same rankings.