Orange Lutheran girls lacrosse is heading into its fifth year and coming off of a season of program firsts. After their first winning season, first CIF appearance and first CIF victory last spring, the Lancers will kick off their 2023 season against Chaparral on February 14, the same opponent that halted their CIF run last May.
The varsity squad will be led this year by three captains, senior Ava Arakelian, senior Abby Nattagh-Turner and junior Abby Walehwa, all of whom have different strengths and leadership styles.
“They each lead in a different way, which is always the best balance for captains,” says OLu girls lacrosse head coach Alexandra Kyte. “I’m definitely excited about this leadership team.”
The program saw a large group of seniors graduate last spring, but several current players are stepping up to fill those roles. Kyte sees strength at midfield this year and is looking forward to key contributions from the leadership core, as well as junior Julia Schlachter.
The Lancers played in a preseason tournament in Murrieta earlier this month where the varsity team went 4-0. Competing again in CIF-SS Division 3, OLu has a number of nonleague divisional matchups on the schedule, including Martin Luther King (February 24), Huntington Beach (March 23) and El Modena (April 6). They will also face off against familiar foes Vista Murrieta (March 14) and Village Christian (March 21).
The team has their sights set on a top three finish in Trinity League and a spot in that CIF title game. Kyte is looking forward to seeing how this newer group works together to achieve these goals.
“We want to win this year, and we’re going to put the work in,” says Kyte. “Overall, I think it's just a fun group. At the end of the day, we have a lot of fun. I always say to my parents, we're building good people who are good at lacrosse.”