Jenna Molnar leds Walkersville to big win.
WALKERSVILLE — Jenna Molnar started playing lacrosse when she was 7 and soon ended up on a U-12 team, going up against players who were several years older.
She remembers being the smallest player running around on the field. So by now, she’s used to it.
Standing all of 5 feet, 2 inches tall, Molnar is a key contributor for Walkersville’s girls lacrosse team. The sophomore midfielder had five goals and one assist to help the Lions win their season opener 16-6 over Boonsboro on Tuesday.
Losing just four players from last year’s 13-4 team, Walkersville hopes to be right up there this season with traditional Frederick County powers Middletown and Oakdale.
Standout goalie Anne Marker is back, providing valuable leadership to a defense that lost three starters. And the Lions return plenty of offensive firepower, including Frederick News-Post first-teamer Hannah Condren and Molnar.
Molnar logged valuable playing time as a freshman last season, adjusting to the speed of high school lacrosse.
Juking out defenders and bouncing low, hard shots, she scored four goals Tuesday in the first half, helping the Lions shake off a slow start to take an 8-4 lead by halftime.
She can play defense, too. In the second half, Molnar forced a turnover by tipping a Boonsboro pass with her stick.
“She is little,” Lions coach Ashley White said. “But she had five draw controls herself, a bunch of ground balls. She’s a real player.”
Molnar’s height actually helps her fit in with this team.
“We’re not a tall team,” Molnar said. “But we’re all really fast, and we can catch and throw.”
Molnar’s assist offered a hint of how the Lions intend to play.
“The good thing about this group, just like last year, I have some very talented players, but they’re all very unselfish,” White said.
The Lions started firing passes right away on Tuesday, but many weren’t caught early on. Molnar attributed the miscues to nerves and thought the Lions shook off their early woes during a timeout talk with White.
“Coach Ashley pulled us out and was like, ‘We need to get our heads in the game,’” Molnar said. “She wasn’t worried, and we pulled it together.”
“A good start to the year, a little slow,” White said. “But like Jenna said, I wasn’t worried because I trust them, they work very hard, and I think they’re going to do really great things this year. It’s just getting their feet back under them.”
Condren had two goals and two assists for the Lions. McKenzie Pope, Emma Jozwiak and Megan Wells each had two goals.
Marker had six saves, and the Lions held the Warriors to two goals in the second half.
“Three of our four starting defenders graduated last year, and they were really great leaders, so the girls have had to really step up defensively,” White said. “You heard us talking in the huddle about improving communication. We have a really great goalie, but we’ve got younger players in front of her, so we’ve been working on that.”
Walkersville won the JV game 10-4. Keren Ott had five goals.