Weddington Girls Lacrosse Shooting For SCC Title

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At A Glance
Weddington High Girls Lacrosse

Conference: Southern Carolina Conference 3A
Coach: Annie McGinley
Between the Lines: Head coach Annie McGinley is in her first season at the school after coaching girls lacrosse at Providence Day last season. McGinley played lacrosse at Rutgers University from 2008-2013 and was an assistant coach at Liberty University before moving to Providence Day. McGinley was part of four state championships while playing high school lacrosse in New Jersey and she was an All-American her senior year in high school. … Weddington has just two seniors on the roster.

Weddington High is getting better and better with each game and that seems to be a winning combination for the girls lacrosse team as the Warriors look to make a post season run.

Weddington has just two seniors on the roster and about half of the Warriors’ starters are freshmen and sophomores. But first-year coach Annie McGinley has been impressed with the progress the team has made.

“Talent-wise, we are pretty loaded, but we are pretty raw team,” McGinley said. “We are a very young team. I think we have the best group of athletes in the state, but not the best group of lacrosse players in the state. Any of my girls can run by anyone else, and athletically they move better than anyone else. I’m trying to get them to do that with a lacrosse stick and some skill.”

Weddington is 7-4 overall and 4-0 in the Southern Carolina Conference and the Warriors have had close losses to Charlotte Catholic and Country Day.

“They are doing awesome,” McGinley said. “They need to kind of mentally accept that they are good. They have been okay with being decent the last couple of years. I think getting over that mental hurdle will change them as a team. Every close game we have had with a top team has been very winnable. “But in the end it just comes down to mental strength. I don’t think they truly believe in themselves yet. But once they do, we could be unstoppable.”

Grace Wasulko and Caroline Cox are the only two seniors on the roster and both are making key contributions for the Warriors. Wasulko has 27 goals the first 11 games of the season while Cox is one of Weddington’s best defenders. “Grace is a scoring machine,” McGinley said. “Scoring goals, that is her strength. She has been a huge asset to the offense this year. Caroline is definitely the voice of the defense. She is a very consistent and reliable low defender for us.”

Junior Ashlyn Wiriden has 24 goals while sophomore Alex Wall has 23 goals.. Weddington is averaging 13 goals a game.

“Alex is the most consistent player on the team,” McGinley said. “She is very smart when she takes it and when she doesn’t take it.”

Freshman keeper Flynn Murphy has 62 saves on the year while classmate Meryl Johnson is one of the top assist leaders in North Carolina with 31. Johnson also has 17 goals on the season.

Unlike many teams across the state, Weddington runs a zone defense and McGinley said the defensive effort has been getting better and better with each outing.

“It’s pretty unique, and I haven’t seen anybody do what we do,” McGinley said. “I don’t think many high schools run zone defenses because they are hard to understand. A zone is much more beneficial than man-to-man. In man there is no cushion. If you get beat, you get beat and there is a goal. In a zone, you have everyone to rely on if you get beat.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at