Marissa Lucca is in the midst of a historic year for the Minutemaids.
Coming into the 2021-’22 season, the senior-heavy team boasted 12 players currently in their final season on the lacrosse field for Washington Township. The large class has played together on various teams over the years, having therefore developed a strong sense of chemistry and familiarity with each other.
With Lucca the team’s highest-scoring returner last season at 26 goals – behind then-senior Sydney Brown’s 34 – head coach Sandy Stockl expected she would take the most shots and score the most goals by season’s end. But she couldn’t have predicted the rate at which Lucca would do the latter.
“She knew what she needed to do coming into the season, and she’s really stepped up to another notch entirely,” Stockl said. “She’s the real deal.”
Following the team’s final regular season game — a big 19-8 win over Haddon Heights — Lucca had scored 87 goals in 16 games, an average of just over five per game. Her production has put her among the top 25 scorers as the regular season winds down.
As one of the team’s senior captains, Stockl said Lucca has done what it takes to make her teammates better on the field, setting up scoring chances for others or positioning herself to receive timely passes while near the net.
“She’s got quiet confidence; she’s not one of those people that says a lot verbally, but instead she speaks with her play and takes accountability and responsibility individually and for the team when things might not go right,” Stockl said.
“She took a big jump from last year to this year in terms of doing what it takes to make others around her better on the field,” she added. “And it shows.”
Lucca didn’t expect to score nearly as much as she has this season; her 87 goals are the most in a single season for the Minutemaids in at least the past decade. Her varsity and club lacrosse experience have made Lucca a threat on the field, allowing her success as plays develop in game. But even more so, she believes her unique left-hand play also had a role in her contributions.
“I’m definitely surprised I’ve scored this much this season, but with the chemistry we have on the field, I’ve just gotten the ball in a lot of good spots to make stuff happen, and the experience I have has helped make that happen,” she said. “Plus, with me being [left-handed], it’s kind of been something we’ve been able to use to our advantage in drawing up plays and taking shots.”
Lucca is headed to TCNJ to play lacrosse under Coach Sharon Pfluger, whom Stockl also played under at the same school. The relationships and culture that players like Lucca and others have enabled over the years in the girls lacrosse program, Stockl said, have stood out as the coach finishes her 29th season with the program.
“She’s left an imprint on this program,” Stockl said of Lucca. “When she leaves, they know what the gold standard is … People have heard her message. I have a daughter in eighth grade that’s come to a bunch of practices and games over the years and knows [Lucca], and she puts forth a great example for the type of student athlete she should want to be.”