The Evanston girls lacrosse team finished sixth in the state and second in the Central Suburban League Conference last season. Head coach Sarah McKenna is looking for an even better finish at State this year.

“I’m looking for a top-five finish at State this year,” Coach McKenna said. “We have a big conditioning program and we put in a lot of work in the off-season.”

The Kits are counting on seniors Sarah Angell, Erin Degrand, Liz Murray and Caitlin Pike to carry the load this season and improve on last year’s 12-14-1 record. “I’m counting on our four seniors to show [their] experience,” said McKenna.

In addition, the Wildkits are depending on a number of players who were called up from the junior varsity team last year and gained varsity experience. “Sophia Graham, Nell Yarnell, Ellen Roder, Grace McKendry, Gabby Rosenberg, and Thomani Adams were all pulled up towards the end of last season and saw action in varsity games last year,” said McKenna.

The Kits kicked off the 2009 season on a good note by decisively beating St. Ignatius High School, 22-3, on March 24 on a rainy Lazier Field in Evanston. Angell contributed eight goals and two assists. Ellen Roder and Julia Borlack each scored three goals; Tara Cleveland and Graham scored two; and Hilla Bornstein, Shannon Kelly, Fanny Feldman and Grace McKendry scored one. Thomani Adams recorded 10 saves.

“It was a great game,” said McKenna. “St. Ignatius is a great team so it was great for our girls to get the win this early in the year.”

 Coach McKenna added that scoring the 22 goals was not easy. “They made us work for every goal,” she said.

In the Loyola Invitational on March 27 and 28, the Kits lost three of four games. Over the two-day tournament they fell to Sycamore (Ohio), 15-6; Harpeth Hall (Tennessee), 11-4; and New Trier 13-3. They beat Montini Catholic 18-2.

“Loyola is always a good tournament – a hard tournament, but we did well,” said Coach McKenna. “We didn’t get as many wins as we would have liked but we played really well.”

Next up for the Kits is Highland Park on April 2, then Hinsdale Central on April 13.

“I’m excited about playing all of the out-of-state teams that are on the schedule,” said McKenna. Those include match-ups against Hannigan-Galiput on Apr. 18 and Parkway West on Apr. 24.

McKenna said the Lacrosse team has never finished lower than sixth in the state since the program started at ETHS. If history repeats itself, look for the Kits to finish sixth or better once again.

“We’re looking forward to a great season,” added McKenna.