An overcast afternoon turned into a chilly downpour as the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team played at Princeton Day School last Monday.
But while players on the sidelines shivered and huddled under umbrellas, PHS goalie Mira Shane felt a warmth on the field as the Little Tigers looked to get on the right track after recent defeats to WW/P-N and Notre Dame.
“Those two losses for us, North and Notre Dame, were rough; I wanted a different energy to differentiate from those previous games,” said Shane.
“Our defense was looking to change things. I told my defense at halftime, hey guys I am feeling the electricity today.”
A charged up PHS squad built a 7-2 lead by half and never looked back on the way to a 15-6 triumph as it improved its record to 3-2.
Shane stood tall in the cage, making several good saves as PHS put the clamps on a Panther squad that was averaging 12.5 goals a game coming into Monday.
“In the first half, it felt better,” said Shane, who totaled 11 saves on the afternoon. “I owed it to the defense; when there aren’t point blank shots in front of you, it is much easier to make a save.”
Having started for PHS since day one as a freshman, Shane looks to verbally direct the defense.
“I would say I am more mentally tough now as an upperclassmen,” said Shane.
“I am a little bit more confident to talk to my defense. Before I had to lay back, now I have to take a bigger role to tell them what I need out of them. I think that is one of the big differences and you can see it in our defense. Now we are really getting those connections.”
Shane’s diligence has made a difference in her skill level. “I have a private coach, I started with him when I was a freshman and then with recruiting and stuff I want to propel and take it to the next level,” said Shane, who plays for the Ultimate New Jersey club team and is looking at D-I and D-III college programs.
“I am actually working with a tennis ball machine now with constant repetition, 100 stops high corner, 100 stops low corner.”
PHS head coach Kelsey O’Gorman believes that Shane has taken her game to the next level.
“Mira is just phenomenal,” asserted O’Gorman. “You saw the power she has on her clears. She is really leading the whole defense. She is loud and in charge. You can hear her from one end of the field to the other and even in the rain, she does not stop and everyone feeds off of her.”
Shane, for her part, is hoping that PHS can feed off the win over PDS to get on a roll.
“I am hoping this will definitely pick up some momentum for us to take into the later season,” said Shane, who will look to keep PHS on the winning track as it hosts South Hunterdon on April 10 and Eastern High on April 14. “We have a harder schedule this year so I am hoping we will really carry that positive energy over.”