Girls Lacrosse Team Stays Active During Virtual Spring

Mariapaula Gonzalez '22, Staff Writer

It’s not very typical to coach a new team over Zoom, but for varsity girls’ lacrosse coach Stephanie Bissett, there is nothing that is holding her back from staying close with the girls. Coach Bissett arranged virtual team meals, and games like icebreakers, bingo, or Kahoot. The team has used social media as well, such as staying active on Instagram and TikTok.

Before spring break, Coach Bissett got to know several girls on the team while some of the other girls were participating in their winter team competitions. Coach Bissett initially planned a trip to Santa Barbara, California, which would have been the perfect way to start forming friendships, but they were unable to go due to COVID-19. Despite this, Coach Bissett was still able to connect with her team by sending them a couple of surveys with random questions to ease the acquaintance process before next season.

“I had to get creative and think outside the box this year. I still came up with a program plan and gave them a calendar with practice drills and running activities they could do each day to stay in shape,” Coach Bissett said. “I had to readjust, and create a relationship with them completely off the field, which was very different from what I’m used to.”

One of Coach Bissett’s goals was to come up with ways to find connections with the individual girls on the team, while also planning fun activities.

“A lot of people play sports as an outlet for stress, so I still wanted it to be that way for them no matter what situation we are in,” Coach Bissett said.

The team participated in Senior Day over Zoom, for which the girls wrote speeches for one another and created posters at home to celebrate the departing seniors. For next season, apart from playing, Coach Bissett hopes to still keep the momentum of the team intact and keep doing activities off the field that help the girls forge friendships.

When asked about her goals as a coach for next season, Coach Bissett prioritized the team’s bond over anything else.

“I think as varsity coaches we can get wrapped up in the wins, losses, and the stats. I think it’s nice to build a family first and worry about our team dynamic before anything else,” Coach Bisset commented. “I also want to have a successful season because I think the girls were really disappointed that we didn’t play this year since they feel so strongly about this team. My goal is to win the Founders League Championships and keep the stamina of the team alive.”

Graduating captains Sadie Gardner ’20 and Jenna Donohue ’20 both reflected on their last lacrosse season.

“I think despite not playing, our coaches and teammates have made it a pretty special season,” Jenna said. She is committed to Dartmouth College to play both ice hockey and lacrosse.

“Our leadership role was very much off the field this season, so we tried to encourage everyone to play at home and for the returners, especially, to get excited about next season,” Sadie said. “It’s a really great team, and we not only created a tradition of winning, but also cultivated a good team dynamic.”