For the first time, the DeForest girls lacrosse team was not only going to have the numbers to be competitive at the varsity level, but they had enough athletes for a junior varsity squad.
“It was going to be a great year with 34 girls,” DeForest coach Jayna Poster said. “We would have had enough players for JV and Varsity. This group of girls this season had great attitudes and a drive to learn and succeed. We had quite a few new players this year. All of our upperclassmen and seasoned players did a great job helping them learn.”
However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the season, which was supposed to be the first for Poster as head coach. Her coaching staff also included Josh Cromm and Maiya Nelson.
“I was expecting to be super busy, well we all were,” Poster said. “We are all just coping with what is going on in the community. It was going to be a learning curve for us coaches. I had only coached at the Middle School level, so learning the rules was a big priority for me. I was ready to help the team in every way I could. Josh Cromm had never coached girls lacrosse before but knew of the sport from his daughter Natalie who had been a long time player. He was willing to step up and help as best he could. Maiya Nelson was a past Deforest student and player. She was willing to help us for anything we needed. For us three coaches being new at the high school level, we knew there would be a huge learning curve, but we were excited! Between the three of us, we were really hoping for a great season.”
Last season, the Norskies finished 10-6 overall. They were 5-4 in conference play.
The Lady Norskies closed out last season by advancing to the semifinals of the Wisconsin Invitational Tournament. They fell a win short of the championship game after falling 13-9 to Madison Westside.
“I wasn’t the coach last year, but from what I can tell, they had a great year,” Poster said.
Poster planned on leaning on the senior class of Maddie Bartels, Alyson Bass, Alyson Benkert, Brooke Buhr, Isabel Schaffer-Stubbendick and Natalie Skaife.
“This was a great group of girls,” Poster said. “They were very supportive of all players learning the game. They were all standout players and individuals.”
Buhr, who will play at Indiana Institute of Technology next season, was a first-team all-conference player last season. The four-year letter winner and 2019 team MVP finished with 64 points, including 31 goals and 33 assists.
“Brooke was always willing to support the Norski Club Learn to Play program that we have in the fall,” Poster said. “She was a standout individual.”
Schaffer-Stubbendick received the Norski Reward for the 2019 season.
Skaife was a four-year letter winner for the Lady Norskies and will play at Edgewood College next season.
Benkert will also play lacrosse for Edgewood College.
“I have only met her a few times, but in those times, she has a great personality and a sense of teaching others the game,” Poster said.
Poster is not worried about the lost season having a negative effect on the underclassmen.
“I’m thinking we should be okay,” Poster said. “I coached most of the freshmen at the club level in middle school. They are a very supportive bunch of girls.”
Poster is hopeful to get some work in this summer.
“I would hope we can still stay in touch and get together at the fields for some practices as long as the school will support it,” Poster said.
Even with the loss of this year’s senior class, the future looks bright for Poster and the Norskies. They will welcome back junior goalie Opal Lawrence next spring. She was a second-team all-conference pick as a sophomore.
“The girls will be so excited next spring,” Poster said. “They were super bummed that we didn’t have a season. Some of our girls only play lacrosse.”