After finishing 11-4 and reaching the postseason last year, Dover girls lacrosse has opened the 2019 season with a promising start.
“The team came out in March ready to pick up with the success that we had last season,” said head coach Molly Phillips.
Her squad responded, winning their first two games before their first loss of the season to juggernaut and defending state champion Cape Henlopen.
Despite losing nine seniors from last year’s playoff team, Dover has eight starters and a lot of experience back this year. The Lady Senators have also added several freshmen who’ve already begun to find their roles.
“The girls came out ready to play and we were able to add our freshmen as they came from successful youth leagues,” Phillips said. “The transition to varsity has seemed pretty flawless for them, and they work well with the upperclassmen. I expect them to make a huge effect as the season continues.”
Through four games, first year player Kyleigh Dill was second in goals, finding the back of the net 13 times, while adding four helpers.
Joining Dill in the promising freshman class are Superia Clark and Sierra Manifold, who combined for six goals and five assists through nearly two weeks of the season.
With one senior on the field, Dover’s returning underclassmen have taken the reins.
Riley McQuaide, Angela Poole and Ava Neibryzdowski return bolster the attack, along with returning midfielder Madison Small and Amanda Dill, Nicole Rainford and Bryanna Stamas on defense.
After dealing with injuries last season, goalie Regan Torbert is healthy and back between the pipes.
McQuaide has led the way offensively, tallying 16 goals over their first four games, including her 100th career goal in a 14-11 win over Appoquinimink.
“[Riley] moved from midfield to attack and we’ve already seen her goal scoring abilities improve,” Phillips said. “Riley is the total package. She’s a three-sport athlete, president of best buddies and an AP honor student.”
Meanwhile, fellow junior Small and sophomore Niebrzydowski each scored seven goals in the first four games, helping pace the offense.
The Lady Senators will look to keep their hot start going Wednesday when they host Smyrna in a Henlopen North matchup at 5:30 p.m.