In a showdown Key West girls lacrosse coach Marisa Giacopuzzi called “a night to remember,” the Lady Conchs squared off against Archbishop McCarthy on March 14, outscoring the Mavericks 17-5. 

It was senior night for Key West and the seniors, escorted by the band, stole the show, scoring nine of the team’s 17 goals. Senior captain Bella Marchiano had an impressive night, scoring two goals and an assist plus five draw controls, three ground balls and three forced turnovers. Fellow captain Ada Van Loon scored three times and was credited with an assist, two ground balls and two draw controls. 

Low defender and captain Rachel Owens caused a turnover and scooped up a ground ball for Key West. Katie Collins netted two goals and caused a turnover and Michaela Kevalova scored one. Sophia Felini had a goal, five ground balls, two draw controls and a forced turnover. Although she’s a defensive specialist, Devan Bittner still found the net once and added a ground ball, two draw controls and a forced turnover. 

The seniors weren’t the only ones scoring for the Conchs. Freshman Maria Chaney had three goals, sophomore Kaitlyn Piloto had two plus an assist, and junior captain Ella Baxter scored two goals, assisted five times and forced a turnover. Freshman defender Colbie Turner caused four turnovers and sophomore goalkeeper Coutney Grabus was credited with one save and a ground ball in the game. 

Giacopuzzi credited the win to her team’s willingness to share the spotlight, especially on a night set aside to honor the seniors. 

“I loved seeing how selfless everyone was, passing the ball around, trying to get everyone to score – especially our seniors,” she explained. 

The 7-1 Conchs are undefeated in district play and hope to maintain the top spot heading into the playoffs, which begin April 11. Their next game is against Miami Country Day Thursday, March 30, and they’ll head up U.S. 1 to face Coral Shores the next day.

Coral Shores’ lone game this week was canceled, giving the Lady ’Canes a nearly three-week break between games. They will see action again on Tuesday, March 28 when they travel to Coral Reef High School.

Key West’s boys had a busy week, playing three games in four days. On March 14, the Conchs played at Ransom, losing the game 16-2. The final score was not the worst news for the team, though, as captain and key offensive attacker Mack Hill broke his arm in the matchup and will be out for an indefinite period of time. A bright spot was Carter Sessoms, who managed to get the ball in the net for Key West. 

Twelve was the unlucky number as the Conchs dropped a pair to Archbishop McCarthy and Coral Reef on March 16 and 17, 12-2 and 12-10. Brooks Pellicier scored the two goals for Key West on night one, then another the following night. Sessoms had three goals and two assists against Coral Reef while Noah Collins netted three goals, Smith Switzer had two and Morgan McPherson scored one. Daniel Ognian was credited with an assist. Key West is off until Friday, March 31 when they travel to Coral Shores to face the Hurricanes.

Coral Shores traveled to Miami on March 14 to take on the Barracudas of Coral Reef. Reece Jahn helped keep it close with 17 saves in goal, but in the end, the ’Canes lost 8-6. Chuck Jacobsen found the net twice and had five ground balls, but it was faceoffs where he truly excelled, winning eight of 11 attempts. Lucas Carballo, Alex Sebben, Andrew Kumar and Landon Blackford each scored once. The ’Canes are off for spring break and play again on Wednesday, March 29 at home, facing LaSalle in what should be a high-scoring event for Coral Shores. They won 16-3 in their last encounter with the Royal Lions on Feb. 28.

Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.