Key West had a breakout season this year, amassing a record of 11 wins and just three losses and a perfect 7-0 record in District 16 play. The Lady Conchs won their second consecutive district title and made a run into regionals. Though they lose seven seniors, they return their top scorer, goalkeeper, and one of their top ground ball winners, making a third championship well within reason. 

Coral Shores ended its season with a record of 4-7, going 2-4 in District 16 action. The Lady Canes graduate five seniors this season, leaving some spots to fill on their roster, but with several key players returning, they should be very competitive in ’24.

From all of us at the Keys Weekly, congratulations to the 2023 All-Keys Girls Lacrosse Team.

Photos by Ella Hall and Doug Finger

Bella Marchiano

Senior, Key West 

Senior captain Bella Marchiano has been a staple of the Conchs’ team for the past four years. This season, she scored 34 goals and 21 assists, winning 69 draw controls, 41 ground balls and causing 28 turnovers. Key West coach Marisa Giacopuzzi described her as a force on the field, explaining, “She is fearless, hustles 100% of the time, humbly goes to goal & equally looks for teammates to pass to. She is the first to the field and the last to leave.” Marhiano is not quite finished. She will play next year at Palm Beach Atlantic University, the first Conch lacrosse player in school history to take her game to the next level.

Ella Baxter
Junior, Key West 

The Conchs’ captain became the first player in school history to break the 100-goal barrier with 48 this season alone. She assisted in 32 more goals for a total of 80 points. Baxter also had 25 draw controls, 26 ground balls and a dozen caused turnovers. Coach Marisa Giacopuzzi noted her appreciation for the intensity Baxter brings to the game, saying, “Ella has a fierce fire in her when she steps onto the lacrosse field.”

Courtney Grabus
Sophomore, Key West 

Conchs’ keeper Courtney Grabus didn’t leave the field for a single minute of play this season, amassing 92 saves, 13 ground balls, and 9 forced turnovers. Grabus won her position with aggressive play, ability to shoulder the pressure of the position, and complete fearlessness. Coach Giacopuzzi said of her keeper, “We couldn’t have been as successful as we were these past two seasons without her!”

Maria Chaney
Freshman, Key West 

Freshman phenom Maria Chaney scored 37 goals and added six assists this season. She caused 14 turnovers, grabbed 31 ground balls and won four draw controls. The lefty also has speed and agility making her versatile anywhere on the field. Conchs’ coach Marisa Giacopuzzi has no doubts in her young attacker, saying, “Maria is destined for greatness & we look forward to watching her thrive & explode over the next 3 years.”

Coral Shores Hurricanes Girls Varsity Lacrosse team member Amelia Perchalski runs upfield against the Coral Reef Barracudas at CSHS Wednesday, February 22, 2023. The Canes went on to win 6-5 in overtime. Photo by Doug Finger

Amelia Perchalski
Senior, Coral Shores 

Senior midfielder Amelia Perchalski netted 27 goals this season and added seven assists. Described by her coach as “very versatile in her skill set,” Perchalski also added 39 ground balls to her stats. Coach Alex Pike praised her natural competitiveness and talent, adding that she “leads by example, is a friend to all, and always gives wonderful advice to younger players.”

Emily Murphy
Senior, Coral Shores 

Emily Murphy led the Hurricanes’ defense in goal this season, earning a 64% save average. Her positive attitude and willingness to boost her teammates added another dimension to her play. “She is always communicating with the defense and makes sure that portion of the field works as a unit,” coach Alex Pike said of her senior keeper, adding that she “treats the team like a family and always tries to elevate her teammates in all aspects, attitude and skill wise.”

Coral Shores Hurricanes Girls Varsity Lacrosse team member Leyla Ochoa moves the ball against the Coral Reef Barracudas at CSHS Wednesday, February 22, 2023. The Canes went on to win 6-5 in overtime. Photo by Doug Finger

Leyla Ochoa
Junior, Coral Shores 

Leyla Ochoa scored 22 goals and assisted another 14 this season. The ’Canes attacker picked up 22 ground balls and led her team by example. “Leyla is the first player at practice and almost always the last one to leave.” said coach Alex Bahn, adding about the junior captain, “I could always hear her giving younger/less experienced players advice or a helping hand.”

Coral Shores Hurricanes Girls Varsity Lacrosse team member Makayla Hann looks to score against the Coral Reef Barracudas at CSHS Wednesday, February 22, 2023. The Canes went on to win 6-5 in overtime. Photo by Doug Finger

Makayla Hann
Junior, Coral Shores 

Hahn held down the ’Canes defense with 48 takeaways this season. She scooped up 52 ground balls and managed to score two goals and assist on two more. The junior is described by coach Alex Bahn as an “overall incredible athlete and competitor” who “pushes everyone to do the best they can.”

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.