AUGUSTA — Oceanside girls lacrosse players literally and figuratively refused to let a cold, hard rain dampen their spirits on Saturday night, April 9 as the Mariners returned to action after a limited schedule in 2021.

On Saturday, the 15-team preseason event, hosted by Cony High School, was played in sections, with morning, afternoon and night groups.

Oceanside’s Caitlyn Lamb, right. Photo by Ken Waltz

Longtime Mariner coach Angie Vachon said the weather, with the cold rain, was chilly, but her “heart was far too warm” as she watched her 21-player squad get back in the game after struggling a bit to regroup last year after there was no high school spring sports two years ago.

The Mariners played a handful of matches in 2021 and have rebounded with a strong group of players for 2022.

Oceanside’s Winter Adams, left. Photo by Ken Waltz

On Saturday night, Oceanside lost to Winslow 9-0 in the first match and Mount Blue of Farmington 6-3 in the second.

Over the course of the games, the statistical highlights for Oceanside came from Martina Straka (goal, assist), Geneva Alley (goal), Natalee Hitz (goal), Sophie Daggett (assist), Karen Skarka (save) and Winter Adams (save).

Vachon said Winslow “had a few fast field runners that our midfield and defense did their best to contain … as well as Mount Blue being quick to capitalize on turnovers.”

Oceanside’s Martina Straka, left. Photo by Ken Waltz

The coach, who started the Oceanside program, said Lilit Khachatryan had an interception and two ground ball wins, along with Alley’s “quickness to across-field ground ball-contesting was a help to the defense.” Grace Webber stood fast to contest ground balls and had nice clears to the midfield. Caitlyn Lamb, Aubryn Knowlton, Hitz and Alley played in all areas of the field throughout the games and it gave them nice takes on game play, the coach said.

Vachon said Taylor Landry handled the ball well defensively and had nice pass placement to the midfield. Alice Attollino played strong in her low defense position. Hitz “held her grace under pressure as a first-year lacrosse player and her stamina will be an asset to our team.” Knowlton played her first games with a “quiet confidence a coach loves to see.”

Oceanside’s Taylor Landry, right. Photo by Ken Waltz

Vachon added: Lamb “had great questions which will grow all of our game knowledge and make us better together.” Daggett has a strong draw that will get better as the season progresses and “her shot on goal was strong and high and she will use her height well.”

The coach said the team’s veterans — Mareh Willis, Straka and Sophia Clayton — will be “excellent examples in team play and communication, a help to us all.” Sophie Vose used her strong quickness to recover to help the defensive end. The coach said the freshmen who played did well.

Lily Stackpole and Gabby Tolman are strong offensive teammates, the coach said, with a skill set and confidence that will only grow through our 2022 season. Adams “faced one penalty shot that was just too quick, but her form was spot on.”

Skarka took the goal circle in the second game as Winter felt ill and Skarka “stepped in with happy confidence despite still having her defensive-field-play mentality. As we get outside, our goalies will continue to improve, as they have over our two weeks in the gym, to be backfield leaders for the team.”