By: Wells Dusenbury
Six consecutive state titles. A nation best 69 straight wins. Over the past decade, the Vero Beach girls lacrosse program has established itself as the pre-eminent program in the state. Tonight, they have the chance to stake their claim as the best program in the United States.
"This is the top game we've ever played here," said Vero Beach head coach Shannon Dean.
The Fighting Indians play host tonight to the country's top ranked team, according to ESPN, in McDonogh (MD.) The Eagles have been equally as dominant, rolling off 51 consecutive wins, second only to Vero Beach.
When the two teams square off, a whopping 20 Division 1 commits will be in action, according to ESPN. Vero Beach has six Division 1 signees, led by goalie Caitlyn Miller (Johns Hopkins), MacKenzie Smith (Vanderbilt) and Lucy Sexton (Vanderbilt). McDonogh boasts 14 D-1 commits, including ESPN's top ranked player in Maryland commit Taylor Cummings.
"This is going to be a heavyweight title bout," Dean said. "We've just got to hang with these guys as long as we can. I hope we have the depth and the endurance because they're loaded from top to bottom."
While Vero Beach has a talented senior squad, they're not overly reliant on them. The Fighting Indians have a wide ranging group, with six seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and four freshman, a recipe that's proven to be lethal for opponents.
"Talent wise, fundamentally speaking, this is probably the best team we've ever grouped together," said Dean.
"Everyone of these girls is a gamer and they're fueled by competition."
While lacrosse doesn't pack the stands like football or basketball, that could change on Wednesday as two of the country's top programs get set to go face off.
"I think a lot of the student body, teachers and just the community want to come out, because the've seen some of our games, but they've been lopsided and they really want to look forward to a really competitive game," Dean said.
Vero Beach has won its first nine contests by an average of over 13 goals, but will clearly be in for its toughest test against McDonogh.
"They're ready to play and are looking forward to see how they compete about the best team in the country over the past two years."
Return to: High School Hysteria Blog