Girls lacrosse swings into spring season


Corina Karr

Girls LAX try-out attendees, some returning players and some first-timers, getting into position for a new drill, led by Coach Alex Gauna.

AWHS girls Varsity and JV lacrosse (LAX) tryouts have commenced as of Monday, Feb. 7, and are already drawing out nearly 50 participants. Last year’s season, although just out of quarantine, created a firm foundation of returning girls to launch the 2022 spring season into victory, and Coach Alex Gauna is ecstatic for it to begin. 

The tryouts do not have a date of conclusion as of now, since many athletes planning to do LAX are currently finishing up their winter sports. This extra time for try-outs leaves more room for those who are interested to still join in.

“Almost everybody, except the graduating seniors, has come back for another exciting season of lacrosse with us. We’re really, really, happy to have so many returning veteran players. We’re really excited about our season,” Gauna said. “We don’t have our first game until March 18, and we still have a mid-winter break ahead of us so there is time to join in, like I said, a lot of the girls haven’t shown up yet. We have a lot of first-time, brand new players on lacrosse which is exciting, so even if people haven’t tried it before, they should come out and give it a look.”

Girls LAX goalie catching flying balls thrown to her during try-out drills. (Corina Karr)

Last year’s 2021 season was  satisfying for the fresh-out-of-quarantine team but this year, Gauna is aiming even higher.

“Last year we got off to our best start ever with the program, with three wins in a row. We definitely didn’t win everything along the way and there were no playoffs so we didn’t really keep track of the season record, but this year we’ll be keeping track,” Gauna said. “I think we’re gonna be faster than last year, I know we’re gonna be smarter than last year, and we’re gonna work harder than last year because we have more weeks in the season.”

The girls Varsity captain, senior goalie and Scripps College LAX commit Lyla Johnston, is excited to start her first year of being the LAX team captain. Although Lyla is currently the only team captain, she has her eyes out to add another one.

“This is my first time being captain and I could not be more excited to lead this team! Last season was so fun, we finally got to get together and play the sport we love after being quarantined for so long,” Lyla said.

Despite her fondness of the team’s previous season, Lyla hopes to further strengthen the team’s skills and competitiveness in the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL).

“My expectation for this season is to have an open mind and get out every day and enjoy the season because at the end of the day we’re just happy to be out on the field again. We also want to be more competitive on the MCAL level and I truly think we can accomplish that with this team,” Lyla said.

LAX try-out attendees in line to shoot ball at goalie while Coach Alex Gauna oversees. (Corina Karr)

Throughout tryouts, Lyla aims to foster the incoming players with a welcoming environment. 

“My favorite part about it is the family and community that it creates. The team’s environment is super welcoming and supportive, we aim to encourage all LAX players to find joy in the sport and the community,” Lyla said. 

Freshman Grace Garvey is trying-out for her first-ever year of LAX, but it is not her first time on Gauna’s team. Grace played field hockey in the fall, a team that Gauna also coaches, and is confident about this upcoming LAX season.

“I’m so excited, LAX is going to become a big part of my life and I love it,” Grace said.

The upcoming girls spring LAX season is looking bright as the team strives to climb the ranks with teamwork and community, both old and new. Following Gauna’s motto “win, have fun, get strong, and be smart,” the team is sure to thrive.