Stepping off the team bus following a 14-3 Ithaca High School girls lacrosse victory at Union-Endicott, senior tri-captain Grace Boyce had a bold statement for the Little Red’s competition: “We’ve showed that, as a Section 4 team, we are here.”
Boyce and the rest of her teammates were excited about their first win of the year, which helped erase the bad taste of last week’s season-opening overtime loss to Vestal. Ithaca has been adjusting to a change in the coaching staff — former long-time coach Lyn Reitenbach has returned after a three-year absence, replacing Heather Murphy. Reitenbach had coached for 14 years before leaving after the 2009 season.
Boyce, a team captain along with senior Lindsay Biondi and junior Molly Long, sees something special in this year’s team under the new leadership, and predicts a successful season ahead.
“We are a different Ithaca team,” she said, “and our coaches in two or three weeks have changed everything for us and made us a completely different team.”
There is plenty to be excited about for both Ithaca lacrosse teams this season. Boyce is part of an impressive graduating class, with seven players — two girls and five boys — having already signed letters of intent with Division I schools for the fall. Boyce, who signed with Campbell University in North Carolina, sounds excited about the opportunity but remains focused on her last season playing high school sports.
The next task for Boyce and the girls lacrosse team will be its home-opener, slated for 10 a.m. Thursday against Horseheads. In this week’s edition of “Five Questions,” we look more closely at Boyce and her future in lacrosse as she settles into her senior campaign in Ithaca.
You just started the season and you’ve played two games. How is the team doing at this point and what do you see in this team going forward?0
“So far, we have played two games. We lost in overtime to Vestal in the first one, but more importantly what we learned was to have confidence in ourselves that we are a great team and we can do great things this season.”
This is your senior year — what is it like to know this is your last year of high school lacrosse?
“As a last season, I couldn’t ask for a better season ahead. I love all the girls on the team and we have a fantastic coaching staff behind us. Every day our practice is fun, the girls are great and it’s a really great way to end my senior high school season.”
How does it feel to be a part of such a successful senior class?
“It’s definitely really crazy that this is our senior year since we all have played lacrosse together for so long and many of us played other sports together. This is a great way to end it and we all have each other’s backs.”
What went into your decision to go to Campbell, and what are you looking forward to?
“I’m really excited to go to Campbell because I love the coaching staff there, and they’re a new team so that will be a unique thing to be a part of. This will be their second year and it will be a great opportunity for me.”
What are some things you want to work on to improve as a lacrosse player this season before heading off to college?
“My goal is to evaluate everything because you never get your high school season back. I’m thankful to be able to continue playing for another four years, but this is the school I grew up at and I’m glad that I was able to spend four great years here.”