They lost two of their top offensive and defensive players and both of their goalies.
No problem for the Explorers.
They’re looking to do what they always do when they’re hit hard by graduation.
The Hudson girls lacrosse team hopes to keep the good times rolling after finishing 14-3 last spring. The Explorers’ season ended in the state semifinals after they were defeated by New Albany 12-4.
Hudson lost seven key seniors from the previous year. They are first-team All-Ohio midfielder Elizabeth Hinkle, attacker Piper Trattner, who led the team in goals, and Julia Stiles, defenders Avery Neher and Leah Graf and goalies Kristin Potts and Mackenzie Hornung.
Seeing a class as talented as this one depart can be a massive migraine headache for coaches.
First-year Hudson head coach Kyra Maludy, on the other hand, won’t be rushing to the medicine cabinet.
"They’re looking really good," she said. "We graduated seven seniors, but we also have a lot of returning girls. We also have some brand new players. It was our biggest turnout at tryouts."
Maludy said the roster features more than 40 players. There’s more good news: The feeder programs are thriving as well.
"It helps when the youth programs like Hylax and the middle school teams have been picking up," Maludy said. "The girls are picking up sticks at a young age. It’s good for team bonding and making friends."
Since the Explorers don’t have a shortage of players, some of them may not get the same share of tasty delicacies at the dinner table as their teammates.
"I hope the girls realize that there is some healthy competition," Maludy said. "Since we are so strong, we can substitute any girls and not have any lapses."
Junior midfielder Sarah Hinkle hopes to pick up where her older sister left off. Maludy has no doubt that she will.
"Sarah is ready to fill her own shoes," Maludy said. "She definitely has similar aspects as her sister. She can come into her own and really thrive."
Junior defender Mia Becker is expected to be one of the team’s anchors in the backfield. Don’t be surprised if she sneaks up to the front line and puts a few balls in the net as well.
"Mia is a scrappy little defender," Maludy said. "She really likes to take the ball up. She has legs like [Jamaican Olympic gold-medalist sprinter] Usain Bolt."
Senior midfielder Mary Castrigano and senior attack Kendall Paltani also hope to beat opposing goalies with regularity this spring.
"Mary is a great all-around leader," Maludy said. "She has great skills The girls look to her for positive spirits.
"Kendall is really good at sneaking in between two, three or four defenders."
Junior midfielder Lily Edwards has the talent and the street smarts to be a star, according to Maludy.
"Lily has some speed and had really come into her own," Maludy said. "She has quick legs, a really great shot and a great lacrosse IQ."
Two sophomores hope to become regulars on the field after getting some quality minutes the previous year. They are midfielders Emily Ritenour and Jamison Cart.
"Last year, both Emily and Jamison were a little nervous on varsity," Maludy said. "They have slowly come into their own. They had to replace some strong, skilled, powerhouse girls.
"They look like they haven’t skipped a beat. Their skills are far and above better than they were last year. The mental toughness is there. They want to continue learning."
Maludy also is mesmerized by a certain freshman. Midfielder Peyton Farley has the type of skill set that attracts collegiate coaches.
"Peyton is one to look out for," Maludy said. "She has the stick skills anyone wants to have. She can play any position. She’s that good."
Maludy’s assistants are Sarra Qadri, a Hudson graduate who was the team’s head coach last year, former Revere lacrosse player Amanda Rafferty, Hudson graduate Kayla Miller and former Western Reserve Academy head girls lacrosse coach Margie Anderson.
"Margie was an amazing lacrosse player," Maludy said. "She played in college and was on the United States Women’s National Team that won a World Cup championship. She recently was inducted into the Hall of Fame."
Maludy, a former goalie, will work with the goalies, attacks and midfielders, while Qadri will work with the defense.
"I want my goalies to be mentally strong no matter what," Maludy said. "I work with the attack because, as a goalie, they do what I hate as a goalie.
"I’ll have my attackers push hard against Sarra’s defense and Sarra’s defense will push hard against my attackers. It’s healthy competition. We want to bury the other."
Hudson is scheduled to make its debut Friday at Avon Lake. Play is set to begin at 7 p.m.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.