FREEDOM PLAINS – Who said Dani DiLorenzo can’t drive?
Um, the Arlington girls lacrosse team did, actually.
The junior got her license just two months ago and some teammates said they don’t feel comfortable with her behind the wheel. Another classmate even said he makes sure to park away from her vehicle.
And DiLorezno recently had a little snafu, adding credence to that. While reversing in the school parking lot after a practice, she backed her SUV into the coach’s car. And she hasn’t heard the end of it since.
“Nope,” Bianca Assenza said, “I wouldn’t trust her to drive me one block.”
Even her preference to recline the driver’s seat far back didn’t get by teammate Abby Carlin. It’s a motorist roast.
DiLorenzo seems to have no difficulty navigating through traffic on the lacrosse field, though.
She scored four goals, including the 100th of her career, as the Admirals beat visiting Monroe-Woodbury High School, 14-5, on Saturday.
“I’ve been playing behind the crease a lot,” DiLorenzo said of her scoring, “so I like to come around on crease rolls or catch-and-go off quick feeds.”
See, she has plenty of successful drives!
Carlin starred for Arlington and excelled on both ends. The midfielder had four goals, three assists, two interceptions and won seven draws to lead the rout.
“Our first game was a little sloppy, so we had things to work on and we fixed most of them,” said Carlin, a senior. “We won most of the draws, executed in transition, and we trotted out our new defense.”
Arlington, which became known for its backer zone last season, debuted a new exotic zone scheme that coach Dan Schmitt called “Joey.” The new wrinkle kept Monroe-Woodbury off balance. That is, when it had the ball.
The Admirals dominated from the outset and controlled possession, denying the Crusaders opportunities. Carlin scored 2:43 seconds into the contest, and Rebecca Campos added a goal a minute later. Rosie Debellis’ sidearm sling, off a one-timer from Carlin, put Arlington up 5-0 with 15:04 remaining in the first half.
“It’s good that we’re able to switch things up and we have two other sets we can use,” said Assenza, a senior who anchors the defense. “When teams are used to seeing the same thing, they can prepare for it and eventually beat it. Now, we can mix it up.”
Debellis had two goals, an assist and three groundballs, and Jordan Smith added a goal and an assist. Sam Simonetty and Maddie Minnow each made two saves for the Admirals (2-0).
Emily Mahon had three groundballs, forced two turnovers and had four draw controls. Kerriann Quinn had three groundballs, and Jackie Timm, Karli Leinweaver, Lauren Tarnowski and Julia Malkischer each scooped two groundballs. Those extra possessions, along with the draws, allowed the Admirals to essentially play keep-away until the game was out of reach.
DiLorenzo notched her milestone goal with 9:06 left in the second half, upping Arlington’s lead to 13-2. The attacker curled off the right, then switched gears. She dashed toward the left wing, dipped inside, took a feed from Smith and launched a lefty shot from about five yards.
“Dani’s job is to score goals and she’s really good at it,” said Carlin, who scored her 100th goal on Wednesday. “We’re thankful for that.”
DiLorenzo, who has been a varsity starter since her freshman year, will likely become the program’s all-time leading scorer next season. Her career, it seems, has been in the fast lane.
“She’s tall, and she’s smooth with the left or right, and she’s a pure finisher,” Schmitt said of the junior, who had 69 goals last season. “We run a lot of offensive sets through her and she gets it done.”
Arlington lacrosse still is burgeoning, and the team has made considerable progress. DiLorenzo is among the standouts steering them in the right direction.
Speaking of steering, though…
“My backup camera was muddy,” she said, “then suddenly I heard a crunching sound. I felt so bad about it.”
The damage to Schmitt’s car was minor — just a scratched and dented fender. It’s “not the end of the world,” he said, but the team still likes to hang it over her head.
That’ll get better in time, we hope. After all, she has mastered driving with a stick.
Stephen Haynes: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4