Lady Panthers stun Stratford in first round


Courtesy of Jeff Galloway

Last night the Starr’s Mill girls lacrosse team shut down Stratford 18-0 in the first round of the GHSA A-AAAAA state playoffs. The Panthers are the defending state champions and look to claim their second straight title.

Peter Beardsley, Staff Writer

Fresh off an area championship, the Starr’s Mill lacrosse team looked to carry their momentum into the GHSA A-AAAAA state playoffs. The Lady Panthers put on an offensive clinic and downed an inexperienced Stratford team 18-0. 

Twelve different players scored for the Lady Panthers. Junior midfielder Kylie Valenta led the Panthers with three goals and one assist. Sophomores Siena Kamal, Elise Mercure, and Jackson McDaniel each added two goals. Senior defender Lauren Flanders led the team with 12 draw controls. 

Stratford struggled to garner some offensive looks, as the Panther defense proved too strong. 

“This helped us because it is the first playoff game, and it helps get our minds [ready] for the next,” junior midfielder Kylie Valenta said.

As the whistle sounded, it would take senior Jessica DeLuca 21 seconds to find the net. Following the quick strike the Panthers scored three more times in 26 seconds. They added nine more goals before the break. With a 13-0 lead at halftime, Starr’s Mill was in complete control.

“We need to definitely be a lot louder,” junior Kathryn Lehman said. 

Coming off a hot first half the Lady Panthers looked to slow things down. Only scoring five times in the second half, the Panthers managed to play keep away for 25 minutes. Freshman Maggie Kluemper saved the lone shot by Stratford. 

“Obviously it gives us a good jumpstart,” head coach Mary Lehman said. “We have got some tough games ahead of us, one at a time, and now we’re ready to focus.”

The Lady Panthers host Fellowship Christian from Roswell at 6 p.m. on May 3.