Deeper, more balanced KCHS wins girls lacrosse opener

WORTON — Gillian Bonass (14-7-21) and Mary Jane Joiner (11-5-16), who provided the one-two scoring punch for Kent County High School’s girls lacrosse team last season, asserted themselves in the season opener here March 22.

Collectively, they put up seven goals and assisted on three others in the 14-7 triumph over border rival Bohemia Manor.

But it was far from a two-player show as three other Trojans also found the back of the net, helping KCHS avenge a 6-5 loss at Bo Manor in the 2023 opener when Bonass and Joiner accounted for all the locals’ scoring. (By the way, Bo Manor also defeated Kent County, 13-5, in the 2022 opener.)

Freshman Jane Cleary had a tremendous high school debut, scoring three goals, dishing out four assists and leading all players with seven points. Her KCHS lacrosse lineage includes a grandfather who coached here, and two aunts, two uncles and her mother who played for the Blue and Gold.

Freshman Eliza Loller and senior Drew Davis, who hasn’t played since the COVID-abbreviated 2021 season, contributed two goals apiece.

Joiner, Loller and Carly King each had two helpers; all told, 11 of the Trojans’ 14 goals were assisted.

Bonass, who led all players with four goals, Joiner and King controlled the draws.

Kent scored first and never trailed.

At the other end of the field, senior Emma Morris went the distance in the cage.

Jessie Bonass, who was an assistant last year, was a winner in her head coaching debut.

Given how close last year’s Kent-Bo Manor game was — Bo rallied from a 4-3 halftime deficit — coach Bonass said she wasn’t surprised that KCHS won, but she was surprised by the margin of victory.

The Trojans are 1-2 after the first full week, failing to score in a blowout loss at Stephen Decatur on Monday, March 25 and coming up short, 10-7, in a back-and-forth game at home against North East of Cecil County on March 27.

Joiner had a hat trick in the loss to North East; King and Cleary each scored twice.

The Trojans came out flat and tentative, which coach Bonass attributed in part to the proverbial gut punch they took at Stephen Decatur two days earlier, but ultimately they made a game of it.

Returnees from last year’s 2-10 campaign are: sophomores Aubrey Baker, Grace Gerstung, Hailey Myers, Savanna Reynolds and Joiner; and seniors Havianna Puglisi, Bonass, King and Morris.

Bonass, Joiner and King are the captains.

Joiner is the reigning team MVP.

The newcomers are: freshmen Taylor Strong, Loller and Cleary; sophomores Tess Fuchs and McKenna Messick; junior Larah Mackey, a transfer from Annapolis Area Christian School; and seniors Addisyn Litton, Abra Hynson and Davis.

Coach Bonass said she has modest goals for the Trojans: that they improve and come together as a team

NOTES: Jessie Bonass is a second-year physical and environmental science teacher at KCHS.

Each game, the coaching staff will present an MVP Cup. The recipients to date are: Jane Cleary for the Bo Manor game; Tess Fuchs for the Stephen Decatur game; and Mary Jane Joiner for the North East game.

Bo Manor has a tradition of recognizing players on opposing teams, and applauded Kent County’s Eliza Loller after the March 22 game.

Kent County’s next game is Thursday, April 4 at home against two-time defending Bayside Conference champion Queen Anne’s. KCHS also is home April 5 against Parkside. Both games start at 4 p.m.

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