After winning just four games last season, the Evanston Township High School girls lacrosse team hoped to improve on that in the 2012 season, which is exactly what happened.

The Kits got off to a solid start, claiming a 5-5 record through the first 10 games of the season. During that span, they had a three-game winning streak, including a 9-4 victory over archrival New Trier on April 21. But after that victory, the Kits were unable to maintain their quality of play. They won just once more, against Maine South on May 3, 17-5, in the final eight games of the season and finished at 6-12 overall and 2-4 in CSL Conference play.

On May 14, in the Evanston Sectional, the Kits lost to CSL foe Glenbrook North, 16-11, as part of the Illinois High School Women’s Lacrosse Association state tournament.

“We did extremely well [against GBN],” said junior defenseman Shannon Smith regarding the team’s performance. “Our defense kept the pressure and [our attackers were] very smart on placement and possession of the ball. On the transitions we doubled the ball well and caused a lot of turnovers.”

Even though the team struggled down the stretch, the season is still viewed as a success. “Overall, I think this season went much better than last year,” said Smith. “As a team, we had more chemistry and faith in one another on and off the field, which I think made a huge difference in how we played our game.” She added, “Last year, I don’t think we took the time to really sit down and talk about what we wanted to accomplish for the season like we did this year.”

Despite the Kit’s sub-.500 record Smith said there were many positives to take away looking ahead to next season.

“The positives that I can [take away from this season] in order to better improve next year is [knowing that we need] hard work, determination, trust, and to most of all, have fun.”

Now that the offseason is here for the Kits, Smith feels it is imperative for the team’s success next season to continue to play in some aspect over the offseason months leading up to the start of the 2013 season.

“Next season is a while away and we can’t just put our sticks in the closet and let them sit there,” said Smith. “Calling up other friends and passing around [as well as] playing on club teams is highly important.”

Looking ahead, the Kits will have seven seniors on the roster including Smith (who led the team with 14 caused turnovers) and midfielder Maggie Krause, Kits’ fourth leading scorer. The Kits lose their top three scorers, Quincy Clegg, Maddie LaJoie and Christina Hildner, to graduation.

In order to have a successful 2013 season, Smith knows what needs to happen.

“([We have to] give it everything [we’ve] got, every day. And when you get tired and feel like quitting, ask yourself, ‘Is the other girl tired? Is she quitting?’ [We have to] leave everything on the field and go hard or go home because the team trying to knock you down is nothing compared to the team trying to hold you up and win, if everyone has the will to win.”

If all goes as planned, look for the Kits to have a strong offseason and be a force to be reckoned with when the 2013 season begins next spring.