By VIDAL SERFATY
The Eastchester Eagles lacrosse team hosted the Fox Lane Foxes in the first round of the Section I girls lacrosse playoffs on May 15 at Tuckahoe High School. Fox Lane topped the Eagles 19-5, putting an end to a terrific bounce-back season that saw Eastchester capture a league title.
The Foxes started hot, taking an early 5-1 lead, and held on for the win. Eastchester struggled to control the time of possession, getting beat often on the draw. Fox Lane kept the ball in Eastchester’s half for the majority of the game, making it difficult for the Eagles to create scoring opportunities.
Despite the loss, Eastchester coach Kylie Gregory took a positive view of her first season at the helm of Eastchester’s program.
“[The experience was] honestly awesome,” she said. “To know they’ve struggled over the past few years, then for us to come out and be league champs and make sectionals, it was fun; they made it enjoyable.”
Gregory said the program’s recent struggles made this year’s success all the more gratifying. The Eagles’ future, she said, looks bright.
Gregory said this year’s success was due in part to the merger between Eastchester and Tuckahoe programs. In particular, Tuckahoe eighth grader Claire Fox made her mark in her first year on varsity, emerging as one of the promising young players in the area.
“Being she was only an eighth grader, and with her speed and stick skills, she really helped us out on the attacking end,” Gregory said.
Gregory hopes the team can build on its strong 2014 campaign. The first-year coach believes that, as players continue to feel more comfortable in the system, Eastchester could reach new heights in the years to come.
“Going into this season, the plan was to transform the entire program. Kind of make it different from what it has been,” she said. “[I wanted to] give them a little structure on attack and D. [Against Fox Lane] the plan was just to go in and play our hearts out.”
Fox Lane nearly upended Somers in the quarterfinals, but fell 11-10 to the Tuskers, who will play for a chance to reach the section finals on May 20.