Team chemistry is often cited as the key secret ingredient separating title contenders and pretenders in prep sports. If that's the case, then Central Catholic (Mass.) High's girls lacrosse team should be pretty hard to beat, just as it would hard to find a team with a more unified team chemistry.
As the Boston Globe explained, there's a good reason for that: The team's rotation is comprised almost entirely of sisters. The sibling list looks something like this:
• Taylor (defense) and Courtney (attack) O'Neil
• Erin (defense) and Ashley (midfielder) Mascucci
• Mary (goalie) and Claire (defense) Foggo
The three pairs make up more than half of Central Catholic's core rotation and, when added to the natural evolution of a team as it pays together. The Globe reported that Courtney Taylor is a senior tri-captain along with classmates Christine Keenan and Courtney Smith, with all three pushing for a sense of togetherness as a way to raise the program to a new level.
At least one member of the team's vaunted sister acts said that comes all too naturally for the entire team.
"Everyone sees the sisters together, so they become closer too," Courtney O'Neil told the Globe. "It just feels closer, and last year I think our team was more individuals. We're more well-rounded this year than we have been before."
Whether the internal continuity helps push Central Catholic on to the state playoffs remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: The players will know exactly who to turn to for support if and when the season finally ends in a loss.
"She was encouraging me and helping me along more than pushing me," Ashley Mascucci told the Globe of her sister, Erin. "She is always there for me, so that was kind of the best part to have a support system."