Once the Riverside High girls lacrosse team finally got to start the 2013 season, the Warriors appeared to be in the same form that led them on a deep playoff run last season.
Rainouts forced Riverside to open the season with three games in as many days, and the Warriors came out on top against Clinton, Greenville and Woodmont.
Last week proved more difficult as the competition stiffened. Riverside lost to the two teams who faced off in last year’s state championship, Fort Mill and J.L. Mann.
Mann ended Riverside’s season a year ago in the Upper State final. With 12 seniors on the roster, the Warriors appear to have the experience to get back there again this season.
The senior leading the way thus far has been Muriel Lee, who has 21 goals through the first five games. She led the Warriors last season with 68 goals in 16 games.
“I just can’t say enough good about her,” coach DeAnn Louis said after Riverside’s win at Greenville on March 1.
“She works hard. … She and (twin sister) Ariel have a little bit of a twin thing going. They always catch each other’s passes. They are super girls, and I hate to lose them (after) this year.”
The Lee sisters, Tegan Noonan, Leah Phillips and Jessica Sieron are senior captains this season.
Noonan is second on the team with eight goals, and leads the Warriors with five assists.
“She’s probably in the best shape on the team. She’s our Energizer bunny,” Louis said. “She really improved after coming back from this summer, when she played on the South Carolina team that went to play in the national tournament.”
Junior Monica Colwell (seven) and seniors Kelli Murphy (five) and Ariel Lee (four) are other leading goal scorers for Riverside.
Phillips, who has three goals and two assists, helps get the offense in motion on the wing. She does so in a way that comes naturally.
“She’s a natural lefty, and it really kind of throws people off,” said Louis. “She’s a good, stable player for us.”