ALL-PRESS GIRLS LACROSSE: Great players, better builders

Published on Sunday, 16 July 2017 15:35
Written by JOSH KESTENBAUM

STAFF WRITER

Girls lacrosse is still in its fledgling stage in Bristol but the growth over the last four years has been noticeable. Both the Bristol co-op and the St. Paul programs finished this season 4-12, which either matches or sets each team’s season high. The two teams could not have found as much success as they did without some strong talent and that is what is represented on this year’s All-Press Girls Lacrosse Team. Each team is represented by two players that symbolize the growth of the sport in the area.

For the co-op, the 4-12 season matches last year’s record. The team could have been able to increase its win total for the fourth consecutive season, but it was without one of its top players, Brianna Hamel, who suffered a serious knee injury during the basketball season that caused her to miss the entire spring season. Even still, the season was another successful season as far as growth is concerned and Bristol’s two All-Press sections were integral parts.

First is Meghan Hamel, who earned her second consecutive all-conference honor. Her 42 goals led the co-op and she added 10 assists. Hamel is part of the first class to play four seasons with the co-op.

“She has been a great player for us over the past few seasons and is going to be greatly missed,” Bristol coach Kyle Phelan said. “Meghan is such a competitor, the type of person you want on your team, whatever sport you are playing. It has been a pleasure to coach her over the past four years and see her grow as a player and as a person.”

While the co-op will miss Hamel next season, it will have a returning All-Press selection. Gabby Abramczyk was impressive in her junior season, recording 22 goals and 15 assists. Of all the players returning for Bristol next year, Abramczyk scored the most goals in 2017.

“Gabby has qualities you just can’t teach,” Phelan said. “She is fast, strong, has a hard shot and isn’t afraid of anybody. These qualities are going to be why I think she will have an unbelievable senior season.”

St. Paul quadrupled its win total from a year ago with a 4-12 record, after going 1-13 last year. It was only the Falcons’ second season as a varsity program, so the three-win jump is a good sign for the future. St. Paul’s representatives on the All-Press team were big part of the growth of the program, both on and off the field.

Annie Sullivan was the offensive leader on the field but also contributed off it. The senior scored 39 goals for the Falcons and added seven assists on her way to all-conference honors. She also scored a pair of goals in the Senior All-Star Game.

“She was one of the key members that got St. Paul girls lacrosse started,” Falcons coach Travis Church said. “I wouldn’t have a job without them. [Annie’s] one of the best players I’ve had the pleasure of coaching, both on and off the field. If I needed something to happen on the field, if I said go get the ball, she would get me the ball. Off the field, I don’t think I have enough words to explain about her helping out in the locker room. She’s a phenomenal person and student athlete.”

Joining Sullivan on the All-Press team is teammate Morgan Middleton. While not a scorer like Sullivan, the senior captain did contribute seven goals this season. Some of her biggest contributions came off the field, where she was one of the more important members of the Falcons squad.

“She was a leader on and off the field this year. I’m glad she got recognized for it,” Church said. “She didn’t fill up the stat sheet, but she was an integral part of the team and its chemistry. It will not be the same without her.”



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern, General Sports, St. Paul on Sunday, 16 July 2017 15:35. Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2017 15:37.