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Lake Forest builds lacrosse program with Catherine Catanzaro

Catherine Catanzaro started the girls lacrosse program at Warren in 2008 and was excited with the progress the team made each year.

Still, when the Lake Forest coaching job opened, it was an easy decision to apply.

“It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to coach at a school with a great tradition for lacrosse,” she said. “I would have kicked myself later if I didn’t go for it.”

Catanzaro connected quickly with her new team this year. Although Lake Forest’s record was under .500 (8-11), plenty of progress was made and momentum built for next year. The Scouts’ season came to an end with a 14-9 loss to Glenbrook North in a sectional final May 28.

“They understood we might not see results [immediately], but they came to practice every day willing to work, and that work will pay dividends,” Catanzaro said.

Junior Katie Karahalios, who has already made a verbal commitment to Southern California, said Catanzaro is a coach you want to play for.

“This was a good building season for us,” Karahalios said. “She brought so many new things to the table for us to learn; every day, she pushed us to be better.”

One of those new things was a letter-writing campaign that would impress a political candidate. At the end of the last practice before a match, Karahalios would often distribute a scouting report/inspirational letter to the team.

“It got our minds focused on the game,” senior Emily Cavalaris said. “It was pretty amazing the way she coached the team and cared for every single girl. She will strengthen the lacrosse program tremendously.”

Karahalios and Cavalaris each played a major role for the Scouts this season.

“Katie was always a strong defensive player, but she really improved her overall defense,” Catanzaro said. “We could put her on the other team’s best player and she would be able to balance that with still [succeeding] on the attack.”

Cavalaris did a little bit of everything for the Scouts.

“She was the emotional leader of our team and did whatever was needed,” Catanzaro said. “She would score a goal when we needed one and get a stop when we needed it on defense.”

Added Karahalios, “Emily kept everyone on the team positive and was a very solid leader. She was a very reliable and strong player.”

In addition to Cavalaris and Karahalios, seniors Payton Mickey, Chandler Scoco and Kallie Feldhaus and junior Marielle Saint Amand earned all-conference recognition.

Karahalios said the she expects the experience the Scouts gained will pay off next year.

“We’re already excited about next season,” she said.