The BE girl's lax team's 'Fab 5' make college decisions
One of the systems of checks and balances Jeff Weiner established when he took over as the Bishop England girls’ lacrosse coach was a review of the previous day’s game. Every player has a chance to speak up, and the review, usually initiated by the seniors, can be either positive or negative.
“The brighter the team, the more insightful it gets,” says Weiner, who has been the Bishops’ coach for a decade.
If that’s the case, this year’s BE post-game critiques must be off the charts. Five of the seniors have shone as bright in the classroom as they have on the athletic field, and have selected colleges many students can only dream about.
Grace Ann Carlson, who will be the salutatorian, is headed to MIT.
“That’s impressive,” Weiner said. “I think she is the only one in the area who is going to MIT. She’s a smart kid.”
But she’s not alone. Ginger Tompkins will matriculate to Clemson, Brooke Dominiak is headed to Furman, Morgan Roberts will enroll at SMU and Ava Ward will stay in state at Presbyterian. They are also highly rated academically.
Ward and Carlson are the only two of the Fab 5 who will play at the next level.
Weiner said having players who are adept at academics and athletics is a big bonus.
“They are well-spoken and understand what’s going on on the field,” Weiner said. “They pick up what’s going on…and are able to translate it to the other players.”
Three of the students are members of the LAX team’s 200 Club, the number of combined total of goals and assists in a career.
Roberts, who might be the most consistent player in her four years in the program, has 229 points (151 goals and 78 assists).
Ward, who played defense her freshman season, has 237 points (174 goals and 63 assists).
MIT-bound Carlson, who began as a midfielder before moving to attack, has 252 points, including 128 goals and an amazing 124 assists.
It’s been another steamroller of the season for the Bishops, who went 16-0 in the regular season, outscoring foes 294-47. They received a first-round bye in the playoffs and will face Hilton Head or May River in Thursday’s second round. Hilton Head beat May River two times in the regular season.
“We have a good team, I’m not going to deny that,” said Weiner, who predicted much success in the preseason. “We have something that is a ‘first’ this season. We had 16 players on the original roster and brought up four from the junior varsity team for the playoffs. Of the 16 players on the original roster, I can put anyone out there and not degrade my offense or defense.”
The Bishops are undefeated the past two seasons and are seeking their fourth consecutive state championship. They enter Thursday’s second-round game with a 38-game winning streak.