It wasn’t just their last regular-season home game.
For 10 Viera High seniors, Thursday night’s girls lacrosse game against West Shore marked what will likely be their final chance to play in Hawk Stadium.
And they definitely made it count.
Scoring early and often, the Hawks defeated the Wildcats 19-1 to finish the regular season with a 10-3 record before moving on to next week’s district tournament at Melbourne.
“For me, it’s the last opportunity I got to play on this home field and that really holds close to my heart because it was one of the last games I get to play with these girls,” senior defender Sophia Wargo said. “We wanted to put our all into it and just really work together as a team.
“It was clear that all of our hard work is paying off and that through this season we’ve been doing great and we’re going to continue to do great through districts.”
Junior Lexi Fischer led the Hawks with six goals and one assist. Seniors Brianna Staerk and Ellie DiSciullo both had two goals and an assist. Freshman Isabella DiSciascio also had two goals and one assist. Junior Lia Arbeeny scored twice.
Seniors Micki Pippett and Taylor Cromartie both had a goal and an assist. Senior Soleil Schmidt, senior Maddie West and freshman Averi Foster all scored one goal.
Additionally, Pippet had six ground balls and caused three turnovers. Senior Annabelle Jimenez had two ground balls and an interception. Fischer had three ground balls and three interceptions. Senior Olivia Vice had three ground balls and caused one turnover.
Cromartie, West, Staerk, Schmidt, Wargo and DiSciascio all had one ground ball each.
The Hawks also dominated the draws with West winning eight of 11 attempts, Foster taking seven of her eight attempts and Staerk going 1-for-1 on her draws.
Senior goalie Brooke Halfacre only faced three shots and saved two of them.
Viera has now won four games in a row.
“I feel like we could do better in certain areas, but other than that, we’ve been working together as a team and we’ve been working a lot at practice on new things,” Brianna Staerk said. “We tried it a lot today and we did good.”
In fact, the Hawks did so well that in the final minutes of the game, they moved players around. Halfacre came out from goal and got to play in the field. Vice moved from defense to attack. Schmidt went from the midfield to attack.
“It was the last home game for our seniors, so this was special for them tonight,” Viera coach Alison Staerk said. “That was the deal. If they worked hard, ran the plays, I was going to move people around so they would get an opportunity to play somewhere else on the field.
“… That’s what it’s about. It’s about fun. I told them, ‘I’m glad you guys had the opportunity to have a little fun.’ As long as they’re all smiling at the end, that’s all that matters to me.”
The Hawks are the No. 2 seed in this year’s Class 2A, District 8 playoffs and as such received a first-round bye.
Viera is scheduled to play Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Melbourne against the winner of Monday’s quarterfinal matchup between South Fork and Martin County.
And while the Hawks certainly have a lot of young, talented players, there’s no question they will lean heavily on their senior class, which includes Cromartie; Pippett; West; Brianna Staerk; Jimenez; Schmidt; Wargo; DiSciullo; Halfacre and Vice.
“I feel like it went by way too fast,” Brianna Staerk said of her time at Viera.
“Starting as a freshman, I went through a whole new team throughout all of my four years. I feel like this is one of the best teams. We all get along and work together.”