The 2021 girls lacrosse season was an important one in the Bristol area as players and teams made history for their programs.
Bristol Central and St. Paul both made state tournament appearances with the Falcons winning its opening game in the qualifying round. With the season long in the rearview mirror it is time to name the 2021 all-Bristol Press girls lacrosse team.
This year’s eight players are Bristol Central’s Sadye Kowalczyk, Alyah Rodriguez-Warren and Lily Hansen, Ciara Collins and Kate Kozikowski of Bristol Eastern and St. Paul’s Greta Panke, Emily Walker and Cameron Baston.
Panke is the only all-state honoree on this year’s all-Press team, earning a first team all-state selection in Class S after leading her to an 8-6 record and a state tournament win. She finished the season with nearly twice as many points as any of her teammates (86) after a 69-goal, 17-assist senior season. She is now enrolled in the girls lacrosse program at Connecticut College in New London.
Walker and Baston were the next two players on the team’s points list this season as Walker’s 45 points as a freshman only trailed Panke for the team lead. Baston only trailed Walker in assists as they both posted 35 goals this season while Walker made 10 assists and Baston finished with four.
Kowalczyk left Bristol Central with the school record for goal in a season and is now preparing for her first collegiate season with Western New England University. She was the go-to scorer for the Rams this season as she put forth an all-CCC caliber season to lead the Rams to their first home playoff game.
“Sadye's off season work definitely showed up in her stats and abilities this year,” coach Kyle Phelan said. “She is the single season goals scored record holder for Bristol Central. Sadye is an extremely talented player and is going to be a solid addition to her college team this upcoming spring. The overall growth of her as a lacrosse player over the four years was incredible to watch.”
Hansen was another important piece to Central’s success in 2021. In her second season of varsity lacrosse, she earned all-conference honors and her growth as a player served as a mirror for the growth of her team as it improved as a whole to finish the regular season with a 8-4 record.
“Lily is an incredible athlete who only played two years of lacrosse in high school due to the pandemic and not playing [after] missing a season due to soccer conflicts,” Phelan said. “If she had a full four years of lacrosse, she would have been one of the best to play around here. Her natural athletic ability and overall competitive nature makes her a phenomenal player on any team she is on.”
Rodriguez-Warren’s play between the pipes put her on the all-CCC team for 2021. She allowed fewer than 10 goals in eight games this season, including seven of the team’s eight wins. Playing in her second season as a goalie, she showed tremendous improvement in her first season as a starter.
“In her 2nd year ever playing goalie, Alyah was selected as an All-Conference goalie, which is incredible,” Phelan said. “She works very hard at improving all aspects of her game and is going to have a great senior season.”
Collins and Kozikowski were two of the bright spots for the Lancers during its 3-13 campaign in 2021. Both players received spots on the all-CCC team as they contribute to building a stronger lacrosse culture at their school and in Bristol.