Navy lacrosse team has strong Annapolis flavor
St. Mary's grads are big part of squad that heads to California for two games over spring break.
Last season the women's lacrosse team at the U.S. Naval Academy had road games in North Carolina against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools Duke and the University of North Carolina. This season the longest trip for the Midshipmen will be a lot further away.
Navy, after playing March 12 at Bucknell, will head to California for two games. The Midshipmen will play March 15 at Fresno State and two days later at California.
"I am really excited to take a spring break trip," said Claire Olechowski, a sophomore midfielder for the Midshipmen.
Navy faced Fresno State last year.
"Cal is going to be a different story. They are dropping lacrosse (due to budget cuts). They have nothing to lose," said Olechowski, who played at St. Mary's in Annapolis.
Olechowski started the first seven games and had one goal for the Midshipmen, who improved to 6-1 overall with a 16-5 win at Robert Morris on Sunday.
"Last year we had a really young team," she said. "We have some freshmen this year, too, but I think everyone has grown" and gotten better.
She is one of four former St. Mary's players on the team. The others are freshman midfielder Jill Coughlin, senior attack Caitlin Mandrin Hill and sophomore defender Emily Mellin. Sam Dennis, a freshman defender, is from Annapolis and played at Archbishop Spalding.
Mellin played in six of the first seven games with one start and had one assist. Mandrin Hill started the first seven games and had 10 goals and 14 assists. Coughlin came off the bench in the first seven games and had five goals.
"Emily and I have been together since first grade. Both of us attended St. Mary's for 12 years," said Olechowski, an English major who has a minor in Spanish. Her older sister, Grace, attended St. Mary's and is now at Penn State.
Claire Olechowski knew from an early age she wanted to attend Navy. Her father, Mark, is an academy graduate. Her youngest sister, Harte, is now a student at St. Mary's. The Navy sophomore said playing lacrosse at St. Mary's was good preparation for the Division I college level.
"I just think the fact lacrosse is a big part of everyone's life ... everyone is always talking about it," she said. "Lacrosse in college is a goal for a lot of people."
Smith honored in ACC basketball
Nolan Smith, who attended the Key School in middle school, is a senior guard for Duke in college basketball and was recently named to the all-ACC first team this past weekend. A product of Upper Marlboro, he is projected as a draft pick in the NBA in June. Jordan Williams, a sophomore for Maryland, joined Smith on the all-ACC first team.
Key School's Peters gains honor
James Peters, the boys varsity basketball coach at The Key School, was named to coach the south squad in the Anne Arundel County all-star basketball game for seniors. The game is slated for March 16 at 8 p.m. at Old Mill High School.