The girls lacrosse team welcomes assistant coach and Bexley alumni Kate Bridge as the head coach for the 2023 season, which will kick off this March.
Bridge said she played lacrosse at the high school for four years. She explained that she then went on to play for The Ohio State University’s club lacrosse team. In her freshman year of college, she came back to her roots by becoming the middle school girls lacrosse coach, Bridge said. She then became junior varsity coach, and then the assistant varsity coach, which she has been for the past four years. This brings Bridge’s time with the program to 10 consecutive years.
Bridge said that last year the team had gone far in the tournament and had a winning record. She explained that this year is a turnaround for the team since they lost many talented seniors, requiring the team to work even harder to achieve the successes they saw in past years. Despite this, she explained that there is upcoming talent which looks promising, allowing room for the program to improve.
“I think that everyone on our team has a ton of untapped potential, and I think that just figuring out ways to motivate people to unleash that is going to be what really drives us as a team,” Bridge said.
Although she still wants to make practice fun and relaxed, Bridge believes the team needs to stay focused during the season in order to play well and make it far in the tournament.
¨We just want to continue to improve and bring up the intensity and make it a more competitive practice environment that can translate into our games,” she said.
Senior Lily Keller said she believes that Bridge will bring a new sense of energy and intensity to the team. She explained that she thinks the team will see the same success this season as they saw in previous years.
“We lost a lot of talented seniors but with new freshmen coming up and the girls continuing to learn and improve their game, we shouldn’t have a problem recovering,” Keller said.
Bridge explained that being an assistant coach allowed her to grasp the commitment and energy it takes to be head coach. Even before the season has started, she has experienced the true undertaking of being the leader of a high school program, she added.
“I’ve always been in the assistant’s role, which has been awesome and helped me see firsthand what goes into being a head coach,” Bridge said. “But already there’s a ton of stuff that I never really realized had to happen on the back-end.”
She explained she has many goals that she hopes to fulfill in her first year as head coach including growing as a leader, connecting with the players, and bringing up the intensity. Bridge said the team has already had a couple open net practices, which will transition into tryouts and the season. She feels as though the girls are already bringing energy and passion to the practices, Bridge said.
Junior Zola Phay said she also has high aspirations for the team this year. She explained that despite a change in the coaching staff, she thinks that they should be able to thrive this season.
“I think that there are a ton of really good players coming up this year and in years to come, so the team should be able to grow and have success,” Phay explained.
Bridge said that she would like to pay attention to the talent in the youth program. She said that she plans to integrate the high school program with the youth program in an attempt to motivate the younger players and to create a connection between the younger and older girls.
“We have a really great youth program that we hope can start to feed more into our high school level,” Bridge said. “I think working with that, too, is very important.”