No sports program at Saint Stephen’s has gone from birth to district champion faster than girls lacrosse, and the Falcons will be looking to three-peat this season.
After starting as a club team in 2009, the program reached varsity status in 2013 and didn’t take long to taste success. Teams comprised entirely of underclassmen and middle school students appeared in district title games in 2014 and 2015, before raising the championship trophy for the first time in 2016. The 2017 Falcons (15-6) repeated as district champions and won a first-round state play-in game for the second consecutive year.
The 2018 Falcons expect to be just as strong. The trio of high-scoring seniors Baylee Barker and Katie Pierce, and junior Kendall Miller gives SSES a core of experience that will again make the Falcons a force, and a team with high aspirations. Barker, who led the team in scoring with 102 goals, and Miller (51 goals, 25 assists) were named 2017 All Americans by US Lacrosse. It was the second straight year for Barker.
A replacement will need to be found for graduated senior goalie Kristyn Weaver, but the remainder of the roster returns nearly intact. Another district title and post-season run are almost certain.
The architect of the Falcons program is head coach Leeann Fronckowiak, who has coached and officiated lacrosse for more than two decades. She previously served as head coach at Cardinal Mooney, and was the local board chair for the Tampa Women’s Lacrosse Officials. Fronckowiak was a selector and coach for the New York and Florida teams for the Women’s Division National Tournament, started two varsity high school programs in Buffalo, N.Y., youth programs for Lakewood Ranch and Manasota clubs, and coached the Canisius College club team.
The Falcons play their home games on the state-of-the-art field turf at the Moore Athletic Complex.