Thursday, May 16
CORRESPONDENT – The Gazette (Hawthorne Edition)


NORTH HALEDON — Mary Help High School head coach Ken Leeder was not really expecting a lot in the high school’s first venture into girls lacrosse.

You could say that the North Haledon non-public school dived right into the varsity sport. In the spring 2012 season, the Lady Blue Jays only played a handful of junior varsity games after one of the non-public schools decided to drop the sport.

Leeder only found a couple of girls who decided to come out for the inaugural voyage that had even held a lacrosse stick in the past.

A lot of the work resulted in success and on May 1 in Little Falls, the Blue Jays dropped Passaic Valley, 10-5.

“I was really just hoping to be competitive for four or five games,” said Leeder, whose team was 1-12 as of last week.

Leeder recalls that it was the basics in the first practice back in March.

“In the first practice we were just teaching how to catch and throw,” said Leeder. “They have really improved since that day.”

He added that the hardest part is not on the offensive side of the ball.

“The offense is easy,” said Leeder. “Lacrosse is a fairly easy sport. You catch and throw, but it is the defense that is the hardest part in learning the rules.”

What Leeder likes best is that there are no seniors on the 2013 Mary Help squad.

“There is no graduating so we are getting everybody back,” he said.

He added that lacrosse is a great sport to practice.

“You can practice with any hard surface and any hard wall,” said Leeder about the girls continuing to learn during the offseason.

In the win over Passaic Valley, the Livi sophomore twins were on fire. Catherine Livi led Mary Help in offense with five goals and Elizabeth Levi added four goals. Amy Dipiazza added the other goal for the Blue Jays.

As of last week, the Livis were a great one-two punch for Mary Help. Catherine Livi led the Blue Jays with 28 goals, while Elizabeth Livi added 23 goals.

Benedict Melse has made a great transition from the Blue Jays soccer goalie to lacrosse. She made nine saves to be part of history.

“She just picked it up,” said Leeder. “She has been reacting better to the low shots. She is tall so she can get the high shots.”