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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Girls lacrosse beats out Beckman and all odds

Andrew Le
FEARLESS ON THE FIELD: Captain senior Nikki Sanders cradles the ball outside the box as she strategizes her next move.

After their senior recognition, girls lacrosse put down their flowers, donned their goggles and grabbed their sticks to secure a win over Beckman 14-11 on April 18, bringing their consecutive win streak to 11. This puts their odds of becoming league champions extremely high; if they win the next two games with Irvine High School, it would be the first time in Northwood history that girls lacrosse earns this title.

Out of the seven teams in the Pacific Coast League, Beckman was Northwood’s only loss in league following a close 8-9 match on Feb. 23. This senior game was not only for redemption, but also to decide who will end up first in the league.

“Today’s game was really important for the team and the seniors,” senior Keira Patel said. “Seeing us pull through for a tough and great win was very exciting.”

Northwood opened strong as captain senior Nikki Sanders took the first draw of the game, which gave the Timberwolves possession of the ball. With a quick series of passes and a shot from sophomore Lauren Low, Northwood secured the first point.

A minute later, Beckman struck back, but Sanders and senior Hanah Khattab followed up with two goals of their own. By the first quarter, the game was tied 4-4. Halfway through the second quarter, Sanders ended a sequence of back and forth scoring with two goals. From these points, Northwood pulled away and maintained the lead. With three minutes left on the clock of the second quarter, captain senior Skylar Leung was knocked down. After a quick check in, she stood back up with a smile on her face.

Sanders went on to lead Northwood with a total of five goals and one assist and dominated the draw to help Leung to nine draw controls. The score also reflected a phenomenal team effort as Lauren Low, sophomore Alexis Low, Khattab and captain senior Jaycee Hendrickson each contributed two goals. This win over Beckman secured the Timberwolves’ ticket to CIF. 

The Timberwolves’ incredible performance beat the almost-impossible odds they began with. For one week at the start of their season, girls lacrosse had no head coach. Former Northwood math teacher Chris Sharpe stepped up to the position a week before their first game.

“A head coach was an emergency need for the team,” Sharpe said. “I’ve coached athletics before and am experienced in managing teams, so they felt that I was someone that could help them save their season.”

His supportive presence and voice on the team was felt by athletes across the program. Without a head coach, the team says they would not have been able to schedule games and therefore would not have had a season. 

“Coach Sharpe is always so encouraging,” varsity goalie senior Syrene Haddad said. “His encouragement is never surface level. He knows when we can do better, so he always pushes us to go further during games and practice.”

Sharpe gave his varsity captains, Sanders, Leung and Hendrickson, space to use their personal experience to lead varsity practices. They devised unique drills, decided the focus of each practice and gave individual advice to their teammates, leading varsity to where they stand now. 

“Before every game, I yell into our little huddle ‘Are we gonna have fun?’” Leung said. “I always tell people how excited I am to play because I really am. So I try to get my entire team to have their biggest focus be having fun and enjoying themselves.”

The next girls lacrosse game is non-CIF and will be on April 24 at Irvine High School.

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About the Contributors
Rachel Yokota
Rachel Yokota, Managing Editor
Rachel Yokota is a Northwood senior and the Managing Editor for The Howler. She has created a whole new level of freelancing by finessing her way out of The Howler roster for three years—and if she’s not hacking InDesign, you’ll find her at the pool. Rachel’s best friends are and (on the down low…).
Andrew Le
Andrew Le, Photographer
Andrew Le is a Northwood Junior and a photographer for The Howler. He spends his time trying to catch up on F1 (and watching everyone try to catch up to Max), listening to music, riding bikes, or sleeping.

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