Viera girls win big in what was likely final home game for seniors


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Viera High girls lacrosse coach Nick Bigerton (left) poses with seniors (from l-r) Tabby Caldwell, Mackenzie Krassel, Sammie Pippett, Brittany Dufresne and Grace Blythe (not pictured: Nicole Blanchard) following Wednesday night's 22-3 win over Lake Mary Prep. It was likely the last home game for the Hawks this season.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

There are still games left to be played this season, but for the seniors on this year’s Viera High girls lacrosse team, Wednesday’s game against Lake Mary Prep was special for one reason:

It was likely the last home game of their careers.

“It feels weird that we won’t be playing on this field anymore,” Viera senior defender Sammie Pippett said. “I’ve been playing here for four years. It’s going to be sad, our last game (here) for high school.”

The Hawks certainly went out in style, beating Lake Mary Prep 22-3 at Hawk Stadium.

Viera (14-2) will look to win a third straight district championship next week, beginning on Monday when the Hawks play Rockledge at Cocoa Beach at 7 p.m.

The title game is set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. Should the Hawks win the district title they will be on the road for the regional quarterfinals.

Senior Grace Blythe and sophomore Brianna Staerk each had five goals to lead the Hawks. Freshman Lexi Fischer had four goals while another freshman, Lia Arbeeny, had three.

Junior Maddy Murawski scored twice and sophomores Micki Pippett, Soleil Schmidt and Ellie DiSciullo all scored one goal each.

Blythe and Arbeeny tied for the team lead in assists with three. Goalie Tabby Caldwell had six saves.

“We actually played really good today as a team,” Sammie Pippett said. “We all worked together and listened to each other. We started talking on defense more. It was the first time we did this one defense in a while and we did pretty good at it.”

The Hawks were playing without several injured players, including junior midfielder Tristen Chang, who usually handles the draws for Viera. Staerk took over that role and easily won most of her matchups to allow the Hawks to dominate possession.

“We had a good night,” Viera coach Nick Bigerton said. “We had a couple of injuries to some players we would like to have in, but we worked together as a team, got a lot of good passing in. I made the girls slow it down, get the fundamentals right because we’ve got districts on Monday and if we win Monday, then (we play for the title) on Wednesday.

“We’re going to see teams that are tougher than that, so we want to make sure we’re doing things the right way and that we’re ready to go.”

As for this year’s senior class – Sammie Pippett, Blythe, Caldwell, Mackenzie Krassel, Brittany Dufresne and Nicole Blanchard – Bigerton said they will always be a special group to him.

The girls were all sophomores when he arrived at Viera three years ago and he saw many of them throughout the day in his chemistry class.

“I always had kids to talk with,” Bigerton said. “Now, they’ve worked their way up and now they’re seniors and they’re graduating. It’s nice.

“These are the kids that … most of them had played varsity the year before (I got here). It’s nice to start where we were kind of rocky and then we built it up and now we’re building it up again.

“Like I told them, this is the best season we’ve had so far and we hope to keep it going, keep it rolling.”