The King’s Academy girls varsity lacrosse team has a winning, yet streaky, regular season record. After beginning the regular season with four straight wins, followed by four straight losses, the Lions concluded the regular season with an impressive 10 consecutive victories. In those 10 wins, TKA scored 165 goals and gave up only 37 goals.
After concluding the regular season on Tuesday, April 4 with a 17-2 victory against local district rival the Oxbridge Academy, the Lions (14-4) will enter the Florida High School Athletic Association’s post season on a positive note.
The FHSAA playoffs — starting with the Class 1A, District 14 tournament on Monday, April 10 — will eventually conclude with the state championship on Friday, April 28 at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex in Naples. TKA will be making every effort to earn a spot in that FHSAA championship girls lacrosse finale.
In the Class 1A statewide playoffs, it’s vital to earn a spot in the regionals, and a strong performance in a local district tournament will help, according to head coach Brett VanAlstyne.
“For the Class 1A regional playoffs, the four district champions move on to the regionals, as well as the next four highest-seeded teams within those four districts,” he explained. “Teams that may have lost during the district tournament may move on in the regional playoffs if they are seeded high enough.”
According to VanAlstyne, now in his eighth year as the school’s head coach, TKA is now better prepared to win tough matches after playing against tough teams earlier in the regular season.
“The four losses were all close, by two or three goals,” he said. “The team learned that sticking together and staying focused on the game plan can help be the difference in close games.”
In the current 10-game winning streak, two of the more convincing victories were against high schools in the western communities. On March 15, TKA overwhelmed Wellington High School by the score of 17-1, and on March 31, TKA dominated Seminole Ridge High School, 19-2.
While VanAlstyne is proud of his entire roster for their contributions in practice and games, some players on the team are playing a more prominent role than others.
“Senior attacker Sarah Scannell is our leading scorer with 60 goals and 17 assists,” he said. “Senior midfielder Mia VanAlstyne has 57 goals, 40 draw controls and seven assists, while sophomore midfielder Savanna Webb has 32 goals, seven assists, 118 ground balls and 12 interceptions. Junior goalie Lucy Dailey has 143 saves and a 63 percent save rate.”