Foran fast start earned during tougher times

Foran's Liz Schumann and Mia Williams are senior girls lacrosse captains.

Foran's Liz Schumann and Mia Williams are senior girls lacrosse captains.

Foran High Athletics / Contributed photo

Foran girls’ lacrosse coach Tom Drew’s first graduating class has been building for this opportunity. The Lions are 5-1. They have outscored opponents 90-41. The seniors have equaled mark for wins from their first season together in 2019. After missing the pandemic 2020 campaign, they went 4-10 a year ago.

“We return a veteran team that has played together for a long time,” Drew said. “In the years that we struggled (5-11 record in 2019) they were on the field learning. We are seeing that growth. They have a grasp of the offense. I told the girls they should be proud of what they have built here. We’ve had girls with skills. Now, collectively, we can feel good about how we can play from front to back.”

Mia Williams and Liz Schumann are senior captains. They quarterback the team from opposite ends of the field.

“Mia is going to Wagner College, a Division I lacrosse program. She is one of hardest working kids I’ve coached. She is a very good offensive player who is very hard on herself,” Drew said of Williams, who scored 35 goals as a junior. “She came in as a freshman (20 goals) and her physical game earned time along with her skill set. Now she is putting it all together. She takes the draw, plays attack and midfield.

“Liz is our leader on defense. She communicates well with the other girls to make sure they are in the right spots. Liz can handle the ball well,” he said. “Senior Meghan McTigue and junior Anna Harris are defensive pillars. Meghan has been with us forever. She, Anna and sophomore Izzy Fallon are athletic clones. What makes our defense special is that they move well and are fast.”

Senior Rylie Bryant is in goal.

“She was behind Chloe Oliver for a couple of years. She is excited for and taking advantage of her time. She is playing well,” Drew said. “In midfield are juniors Grace Foley, Mackenzie Posey and Zoe Fallon. They get up and down the field. They can catch, shoot and are great on the draw. Freshman Ava Deitelbaum has been the first player off our bench. Sometimes she will handle the draw. She can play anywhere.

“Juniors Mallory Janik, Kylee Payne, and senior Celidgh Pikul have stepped up on our attack,” Drew said. “Mia is no secret. Teams we play have seen her play for four years. She is going to be face guarded. She is going to be double teamed. Mia has got to be a facilitator. Mallory, Kylee and Celidgh are balancing the offense.”

Drew reminds his team that the bulk of the season is ahead of it.

“These girls have set their goals high,” he said. “They want to make states and then see what they can do. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. It’s still one game at a time. We look to go 1-0 every game and then look to the next one.”

Drew credits his assistant for Foran’s progress.

“Ashley Springsteen and Brian O’Neill are amazing coaches,” he said. “They have different styles, Ashley with the defense and Brian with our offense. From where we were to where we are now has been a journey. They care in their own way about the kids.” Twitter: @blox354