The Bishop England High School girls’ lacrosse team will be on a mission this spring.
“Our goal is to reach the state final and win the state championship every year,” coach Jeff Weiner said. “We’re a little more focused on that after what happened last year.”
Last year, the SC High School League, the governing body of sports for public schools and a handful of private and charter schools in the Palmetto State, ruled the Bishops used an ineligible player in the first five games of the season and had to forfeit those games. That meant the Bishops’ 98-game winning streak and bid for a seventh consecutive state title came to a screeching halt.
Because of that, the Bishops’ practices in preparation for their Feb. 21 season-opener against Bluffton have been spirited.
“Things are going pretty good,” said Weiner, whose team last lost on the field back in 2017. “We have a lot of seniors coming back, a lot of seniors. We are ready to go. We want to make amends after what happened last year.”
The Bishops might not have won a state championship last year, but they were the best team in the Palmetto State. They played and defeated every team that reached the Class AAAAA and Class AAAA state finals. Not only that, the margin of victory against the finalists was 11 goals or more.
“As far as I’m concerned, we still have the 98-game winning streak and were the best team in the state,” Weiner said. “We won every game. MaxPreps had us No. 9 in the country despite the forfeits.”
The Bishops’ schedule will be a grind, but that’s par for the lacrosse course. They will play only a handful of local teams including Lucy Beckham, Academic Magnet, Waccamaw, Bluffton and Porter-Gaud.
Five of the teams on the schedule are Class AAAAA teams, while six teams are from out of state, including a team from Maryland, Ohio and four from North Carolina.
The North Carolina teams include Charlotte Catholic, Charlotte Latin, Myers Park and Hoggard. That’s four of the top six teams in the Tarheel state. Are the Bishops bidding to unofficially win the North Carolina state championship?
“We do have a tougher North Carolina schedule than most North Carolina teams,” Weiner quipped. “We wanted to make the schedule a little tougher. The girls don’t want to play teams that we beat 20-0. The schedule might make it impossible to go undefeated, but we will try.”
The roster is loaded with players who will play at the next level. Five seniors have already decided on the matriculation process. Bo Rosato will play for Johns Hopkins, Izzy Woods will enroll at Wofford while Henley Bredemann will attend the Catholic University of America. Anna Engler will matriculate to Newberry and Summer Matsik is headed to Claremont McKenna College. Junior Keira Tyler has committed to the University of Rhode Island.
“That’s the most I’ve ever had,” Weiner said of his next-level players. “We could have more. “
The Bishops will be without some players who are members of the BE basketball team. They might not be available until March, depending on how the basketball team fares in the state playoffs.