Twenty-one years ago, when girls lacrosse got its start in Lancaster County, one of the fields on which practices first took place were those on the campus of Conestoga Valley High School.
The sport has since grown, with PIAA adopting girls lacrosse in 2009, and several Lancaster-Lebanon League schools adding the sport to their spring slate along the way.
Two years ago, the Conestoga Valley girls lacrosse program reached the District Three playoffs for the first time in program history. After the COVID-19 pandemic took away the 2020 campaign, the Buckskins began 2021 by winning their first six games and are currently 3-3 Lancaster-Lebanon League, 7-3 overall.
They’re now under the direction of new coach Matt Brubaker, a Hempfield alum who was previously the CV boys coach from 2007 to 2015. It’s only fitting that Brubaker is married to Gwenna Brubaker (maiden name Johnson), a Hempfield alum who is believed to be the first Lancaster County product to play women’s lacrosse at the next level.
Anyways, the Buckskins have gotten off to a strong start this spring in part thanks to senior standout Abigail Morley, a recruit of NCAA Division I College of William & Mary in Virginia, where Morley plans to study biology.
Through Wednesday, Morley (59 goals, 14 assists) is the second-leading scorer and second-leading points leader in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
LNP|LancasterOnline chatted with Morley before the start of Thursday’s practice. Here’s that Q&A…
What have the adjustments been like with new coach Matt Brubaker?
“Coach Bru likes keeping everyone involved. In years past we were more JV, varsity. This year we’re more one team. And something he really emphasized is not really doing plays and instead letting us freestyle. That’s really helped our team evolve because it has allowed more girls to get involved instead of having set girls go to goal at certain times.”
What are some areas of improvement the Buckskins are working on?
“Something that is special for our team is we have a few girls starting who have never played before. For us, it’s more we have a strong senior class and we all want to leave a legacy to improve on in the future. ...“Our senior class is the strongest class to ever go through CV. We all are very good athletes. There are a bunch of other girls who are good field hockey, soccer players as well. Coach Bru’ always says we’re probably the most athletic team in the L-L. We may not have the best stick skills but we definitely are crazy good athletes.”
You’re one of three team captains for CV. What responsibilities come with that role?
“We have a huge sophomore class so definitely wrangling all the underclassmen. They’re a great group of girls. All the other team captains and I work really hard this year to set the standards for Coach Bru and do all the duties that he wanted us to.”
You being the CV’s top scorer has come with opposing teams consistently face-guarding you. How have you adjusted?
“I like it. It’s more of a challenge. It pushes our team to work through that. Obviously it’s not ideal but it challenges me and will prepare me for the next level.”
How would you describe your skillset on the lacrosse field?
“My Xtreme Lacrosse Club coach Mark Pinkerton always say I have a crazy long reach. I’m good at intercepting. I credit that to field hockey. I have good timing when it comes to interceptions. I’m just really scrappy.”
Why William & Mary?
“The academics there are amazing. When I stepped on campus I knew that’s where I wanted to go. It’s the first school I visited for lacrosse. It’s the first lacrosse clinic I went to. I fell in love.”
Time for some fun questions. What’s your dream job?
“I would love to be a dermatologist like Dr. Pimple Popper. I love that show”
You find a genie in a lamp and get three wishes. What are they?
“Just to have a happy life would be one of them. ...I love my dog, Bernie. It’s a Bernese Mountain Dog. So having a Bernese Mountain Dog ranch would be cool.”
You get one super power. What is it?
“Super speed. I’d be great on the lacrosse field.”
Are you superstitious?
“Yes. I’m very superstitious. I always wear this sparkly hair tie. I twirl my stick sometimes before I take the draw. I like to take a Starbucks or a Celsius energy drink before every game. It gets me more hype. ...if I don’t have those, I still play hard but I feel a little off.”
You’re good at lacrosse and field hockey. What sport are you the worst at?
“Soccer. My dad always says I have two left feet. I can’t do soccer. I tried it for one year. It was awful.”
When the pandemic is over and you can get tickets to any sporting event or concert, where would you go?
“The Made In America Festival in Philadelphia. Or a Cardi B concert.”
What advice would you give to freshman Abigail Morley?
“Work hard in the offseason. It’ll make your shot stronger, your stick skills better and it’ll improve your overall health.”