April 27, 2016

Senior Star Maser Providing Energy, Scoring As Stuart Lax Goes Through Growing Pains


STICKING WITH IT: Stuart Country Day School lacrosse star -Julia Maser looks to get by a foe in recent action. Last Wednesday, senior star and Colby College bound Maser scored four goals in a losing cause as Stuart fell 17-5 to South Brunswick. Stuart, who moved to 1-6 with the loss to South Brunswick, hosts Lawrence High on April 27 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament where the 14th-seeded Tartans are slated to play at No. 3 Lawrenceville in a first round contest on April 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

While the Stuart Country Day School lacrosse team misfired in a 17-5 loss to South Brunswick last Wednesday, Julia Maser was on target.

The Stuart senior star and Colby College-bound Maser fired in four goals, battling to the end, nearly scoring a fifth on a free position in the waning seconds.

In reflecting on her effort, Maser said she drew inspiration from her teammates.

“I did feel like I had a good game; I was really pushed by my teammates,” said Maser. “When I see them hustling down the field, I want to get down there too because I know they are giving it their all and it is not fair if I don’t do the same.”

The team’s hard work didn’t get rewarded as Stuart fell 17-5, dropping to 1-6 on the season.

“I don’t think it reflected the heart and hustle we put into this game even until the very end,” said Maser, who got a turf burn on her right thigh as she tried to score at the final buzzer.

“This season we have been having great small things but we really need to make it cohesive and play for our team. We need to be doing it for the name on the front of our shirts rather than on the back.”

Maser is savoring her last few weeks in a Stuart uniform. “I really am enjoying this season as my last one here, “ said Maser. “The great thing is that we have awesome freshmen who came in this year, Addie McCabe and Grace Sheppard, and I think they are really going to hold it together. We also have some very strong juniors.”

In Maser’s view, the Tartans need to play with a stronger sense of purpose as they head down the stretch.

“I think it is general mentality and focus, picking a team goal that we all want and going after it and really playing for one another,” said Maser.

Stuart head coach Kelsey O’Gorman credits Maser with bringing a winning mentality to the team.

“Julia Maser is doing well with the girls, helping them and they are rallying around her spark and energy,” said O’Gorman.

“She has just been a great asset, she is a mature player. She knows how to take advantage and possess the ball.”

O’Gorman believes that her players are maturing as the season goes on. “I think that we are making improvements,” said O’Gorman.

“We have some young players out there but the seniors are taking the lead, with Julia, Harley Guzman, Rose Tetnowski, and Tori Hannah as our senior leaders. Claire Landers is doing a great job too, she is a junior. With those girls, despite what the scores have been, we have progressed in our own ways and they are bonding as a team more so I am proud of that.”

The team’s younger players are making steady progress. “Addie McCabe has stepped up for sure,” said O’Gorman, who has also gotten good offensive production from Sheppard.

“Gin Gin Plehn is helping out on defense with good defensive strategies from basketball. Maria McBride is doing a good job on defense.”

With Stuart hosting Lawrence High on April 27 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament where the 14th-seeded Tartans are slated to play at No. 3 Lawrenceville in a first round contest on April 30, O’Gorman is looking for her players to step up collectively.

“I just want to see unity out there, I want to see a solid unit,” said O’Gorman.

“We have gotten much better on the draw recently, even we were down players, we were possessing the ball. I am just looking for total team effort coming up this week.”

Maser, for her part, is confident that the Tartans will come together as they look to pick up some more wins.

“The rest of the season should be a time for all of us to grow and hopefully for us to all grow together so our record can reflect our effort,” said Maser.