BE lax team's Carlson, Roberts and Ward earn All-America accolades
It was the final chapter in Bishop England’s 2019 season and the final exclamation point on remarkable four-year run as the best girls’ lacrosse team in South Carolina. Bishop standout Grace Ann Carlson has been named both academic and lacrosse All-America while Morgan Roberts (academic) and Ava Ward (lacrosse) have been named All-America as well.
Coach Jeff Weiner rattled off the Bishops’ 67-3 record the past four years: 19-0 this season, 18-0 in 2018, 14-2 in ’17 and 16-1 in ’16. Two of the three losses were to out-of-state teams. The only loss to a South Carolina team was a setback to J.L. Mann, a team that captured the Class AAAAA state title.
Was this four year-run the golden era of BE lax?
“It has to be,” coach Jeff Weiner said. “Four state championships in four years. You can’t do any better than that.”
The Bishops have produced 11 all-America selections since 2014, and Carlson was only the third Bishop to earn All-America as a student as well as an athlete. The other Bishops who won both sides were Caitlyn Greenho in 2014 and Ellie Petyak in 2016.
Carlson was the salutatorian of the Class of 2019 and will matriculate to MIT after concluding her prep career with six goals in the state championship game. Roberts will head to Fort Worth and attend SMU while Ward is slated to attend Presbyterian.
Ward and Carlson are the only two of the Bishops’ “Fab 5” of seniors who will play at the next level.
The Bishops, who topped Christ Church in this year’s Class AAA state championship, will begin the 2020 season with a 41-game winning streak.
They will also begin the season with some big holes to fill. The Bishops must replace five starters from a team that went 19-0. It was the same scenario this spring when the Bishops had to replace five starters from the ’18 team that went 18-0.
“It’s going to be tough to replace the talent we lost,” Weiner said. “I’ll try, but I’m not looking forward to it. This year’s team had the mindset. They wanted to win four straight championships. They wanted to leave their mark.”
The Bishops lost five players to graduation, including the “Big Three.” They are Carlson, Roberts, and Ward. All three were members of the Bishops’ 200 Club, a small group of players who each recorded a combined 200 points (goals and assists) during their four years as starters.
Weiner, in an earlier interview, 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.”
“That leadership is going to be missed,” Weiner said. You can’t replace leadership like that.”