READING — Last season’s Reading High girls lacrosse team equaled its best postseason performance.
This spring, the Rockets are hoping to build on that.
“Nine years ago, we made it to the same spot as last year,” said Reading coach Rachel Monroe, whose team finished 17-5 last season after losing to Chelmsford in the MIAA Division 1 North final. “We’re hoping to surpass that.”
Reading graduated five players from last year’s team. This year, there are eight returning starters and nine seniors with varsity experience.
Captains Alex Palermo, a midfielder, and Hannah Gohr, an attack, were both Middlesex League all-stars last season.
Other returning starters include senior goalie Madison Bruzzese, seniors Alana and Kayla Loughman, who can play midfield and attack, senior defenseman Sarah Caporale, senior defenseman Lauren Walsh and senior attack Brynn Lambroff. Senior Angie Carciero is also a returning letterwinner.
“The work ethic stands out the most,” said Monroe, who is in her ninth season with the program, her sixth as head coach. “They have a commitment to each other and don’t want to let each other down.”
The Rockets scrimmaged Revere and took part in a jamboree at North Andover last Saturday, March 23.
“It went well,” Monroe said. “We were able to see what we needed to work on offensively and defensively. We’re really excited about the start of the season.”
Reading opens the season at Central Catholic in Lawrence on Wednesday (6:30 p.m.). The home opener is on Friday against Beverly at the Parker Middle School (4 p.m.) and the Middlesex League opener is on April 9 at Watertown (4 p.m.).
Traditionally the top teams in the Middlesex League, along with Reading are Lexington, Winchester and Woburn.
Non-league games of note include contests against Dual County League powers Lincoln-Sudbury, Westford Academy and Wayland and Ipswich of the Cape Ann League.
“The goal is to be the best Reading team we can be,” Monroe said. “We need to stay healthy, continue to work hard and take chances in practice so we can do those things in games.”