Milton's Monumental Season Sweeps #BestOfLax
|Annie Ruland (left) and Lydia Cassada anchored Milton's push to the forefront in 2013. (Michael Schwarz)|
In a 48-hour span in March, the Milton (Ga.) High girls' lacrosse team went from regional novelty to national power.
It started with a loss that felt a lot like a win. On March 15, the Eagles took top-ranked McDonogh (Md.) School and its legendary winning streak (now 91 games) to the brink in an 11-8 defeat. The next day, Milton rallied from a five-goal deficit to beat Vero Beach (Fla.) 14-13— their first victory in six tries against a team long considered to be the best in the South.
And suddenly, the lacrosse world took notice of the girls from Georgia.
Led by Division I-bound stars Annie Ruland (USC), the Nike/US Lacrosse South Region Player of the Year, and Lydia Cassada (Northwestern), the Eagles (18-3-1) finished No. 8 in the Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25. (South Region Season Rewind)
Ruland and Cassada were also later featured in Lacrosse Magazine, another first for the program, including a full photo shoot by Michael Schwarz - photo gallery
The Milton women also rocked the vote for the fans, earning over half the vote - one of only two categories to have one squad earn a majority of the tallies. Detroit's season - which saw a remarkable rally to take the MAAC tournament as the No. 4 seed and near-upset in the NCAAs of No. 2 seed Notre Dame was second, while the always competitive but never champion (until 2013) North Carolina women were third.
Milton (Ga.) girls 51%
Detroit men 24%
North Carolina women 14%
Charlotte Hounds 6%
Stevenson men 5%