GO THE EXTRA MILE — Springville’s Lauren Paul (far left) and Alex Zifra (far right) defend against an Iroquois player. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Two longtime Springville-Griffith Institute lacrosse players were recognized, during senior night, at the local school.
Katie Zielen-Ersing and Hunter McCarthy played their last high school game on May 13, against Iroquois. Their team recognized these two players, prior to the game.
While the local girls lost to the Chiefs 15 – 6, Zielen-Ersing netted 5 goals, in the last game of her high school career. McCarthy dished out two assists.
I GOT IT — Springville-Griffith Institute athlete Kaylie Keller (center) battles with two Iroquois players for a ground ball.
Both seniors have been coached by Coach Robbyn Robnett for six years. Robnett is a modified soccer coach, as well as the girls’ lacrosse coach. “They are a huge part of the program,” Robnett said. “It’s definitely going to be a huge void for the program, not having their leadership. They’ve always participated in the off-season camps, off-season indoor and so, for them to not be there, someone has to really step up.
“They set the tone for where the program should be heading,” she added. “I think, in the past, we’ve had some great leaders, but I think this group really understood where I wanted this program to go and they were willing to put that time and effort into it. They have shown the underclassman what needs to be done, to move in that direction.”
GO TEAM — The S-GI varsity girls lacrosse team members put their sticks in, before their final game of the season, against Iroquois.
Zielen-Ersing spent her first three years on the varsity team, as its goalie. She was named a first team all-star as a sophomore and was named a second team all-star as a junior.
She made the transition from goalie to field player, this year, and led the team in scoring with 34 goals and 40 points. Her goal total in a single season is now a school record.
“She had a great year, considering she was a goalie all this time and stepped out of the net and became a field player this year,” Robnett said. “She had some other stats, that really outweighed other kids’. Her career has been good in net, but really good on the field. She has brought so much leadership and tenacity, to the program.”
McCarthy has also played for Robnett for four years. Along with lacrosse, she runs cross-country and had one of the highest averages on the varsity bowling team, which had its best season in program history, last winter.
“Hunter is our quiet leader,” Robnett said. “She is the mother of our group. She takes care of everybody and makes sure everyone is on track, doing what they need to do. I don’t think people realize how much she does do for the program, because she is quiet about what she does. That’s something everyone is going miss out on a lot.”
With the graduation of McCarthy and Zielen-Ersing, the Lady Griffins will return second-leading scoring Jess Wojkowiak, next season. While being a dual athlete this spring, running track as well as playing lacrosse, Wojkowiak scored 24 goals and racked up 31 points, while leading the team in assists.
Also returning, next year is Alex Zifra, one of the Lady Griffins’ top players, on defense.
“The thing about Jess is, no matter what she does, no matter how much she’s doing, she gives a 150 million percent effort,” Robnett said. “She never lets up. That leadership alone, just showing without even saying a word ... how hard she’s willing to work, should definitely be a leadership piece, that kids should feed off of, next year. Returning her and Alex Zifra should hopefully make for a pretty good team, to hit both sides of the ball, both offensively and defensively.”
The girls lacrosse team set school records for the most goals in a game, with 15 against St. Marys, and most shots on goal, with 22 against Niagara Falls, this season.