19.1Jennifer White Terry Sanford lacrosseThe trial period is officially over for girls lacrosse at Terry Sanford. Head coach Jennifer White is ready to move into the realm of chasing a berth in the state playoffs.

“This is our second real year and our third year total,’’ White said of the fledgling program she’s leading for the Bulldogs. “I feel like we are a legit, established program. The first year I had bunch of new girls.

Last year we were playing at, like, the junior varsity level.’’ This year’s team features mostly players who are sophomores and juniors, with some who’ve spent up to three years competing on recreation and travel lacrosse teams, some based in the Triangle where the sport is played at a higher level.

Now that Cape Fear has added a girls team, there are three programs in the county at the high school level. But White said those numbers have to improve, and the best way is to take lacrosse demonstrations to schools that currently don’t offer the sport.

For now, she’s hopeful her Bulldogs can earn a state playoff berth because she feels this year’s team has the talent to make that happen.

Among her best players is sophomore Mattie Davis. In a recent game with Holly Springs, Davis scored eight of Terry Sanford’s nine goals. She’s been playing the sport since she was in the third grade.

Even if other schools aren’t playing lacrosse, Davis thinks it would be helpful for them if they’d just come and watch schools like Terry Sanford play the game.

“The more people we have that have played, the better we’ll be,’’ Davis said. “I play travel lacrosse in Raleigh, and my teammates have been playing together for a very long time. They just have a lot more experienced girls so their programs are just better.’’

Davis said it’s hard to grow the sport when so many people know nothing about it. “Lacrosse is fun,’’ she said.

As for her personal goals this season, Davis said she constantly pushes herself, whether she’s in practice or a game. “I try to be the best one there while working with my team,’’ she said. “I try not to be lazy, even if it is practice.’’

Photo: Terry Sanford girls lacrosse head coach Jennifer White

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