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The Notre Dame Hingham girls lacrosse player puts Maroney in the lead role

The Notre Dame Hingham girls lacrosse player puts Maroney in the lead role


HINGHAM – Lacrosse was not a spectator sport for Grace Maroney last spring. But then early in her sophomore season she jumped up to grab a loose ball and landed wrong. That’s when her ankle basically said, “We’re out.”

Torn ligaments kept Maroney out for most of the 2023 season. She was back in time for a pair of playoff games — Hingham made it to the Division 1 Round of 16 — but wasn’t quite herself.

This spring was a completely different story.

Fully healthy, the University of Notre Dame has found the net for the Port Women at a surprising pace. Maroney faced fellow Patriot League side Hanover on Wednesday with 62 goals and went on to score five times in a 19-9 victory that pushed Hingham’s winning streak to 10 games.

“I think I’m doing more than I thought I could do,” said Maroney, a 5-4 junior midfielder, “but I definitely came into this season with a new mentality. I thought, every time I step on the field, “I’m going to give it everything I have, because last year I really realized that you never know when it could be your last game.”

Maroney’s return has boosted an already talented Hingham team, which has fallen to Div. 2 this season and entered game No. 4 in the latest MIAA power rankings.

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“If we believe in ourselves,” Maroney said, “we can definitely go far (in the playoffs).”

Having Maroney’s scoring ability will certainly help matters. Coach Carla Farkes calls her a “natural goal scorer” and raves about her speed in the open field. But Maroney’s impact on the Harborwomen (11-2) goes deeper than that. “She just has a really great competitive spirit,” Farkes said. “She loves to play and she’s aggressive. And I think kids feed off of that. It’s contagious.”

“It’s great how she changes the team chemistry for us,” agreed senior captain Madeline Packard, who has scored 22 goals this season. “Her presence on the field automatically makes everyone want to come out more with the commitment and energy she brings to the team. She adds a completely different drive.”

Maroney’s game is hardly one-dimensional. In the second quarter against Hannover, she lost the ball in traffic in front of the Hannover net. As the Hawks began a counterattack, Maroney chased down an opponent, retrieved the ball from her stick and began another Hingham possession. Fittingly, it ended when she put a one-time feed in the slot for a 9-2 lead with 9:06 remaining in the half.

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“Grace competes,” Farkes said. “If I put her on a low D, she would compete just as hard as if I put her on offense. She’s not just looking for points. She appreciates the (defensive) drive. … There’s a certain pride in her So if she loses the ball, she will do anything to get it back.”

“I expect nothing less from her,” Packard agreed. “She never slackens; she never gives up.”

Maroney (5 goals, 3 assists) had a lot of scoring help, as classmates Caroline Connolly (6 goals, 3 assists) and Neely Sgobbo (4 goals, 4 assists) also filled the scoresheet. Sgobbo’s final goal gave her 100 career points – a milestone that Connolly (up to 36 goals per season) and Maroney had achieved earlier in the season. Packard also reached triple figures, scoring her 100th career goal against Plymouth North on April 22.

Stella Brazis (2 goals, 2 assists), Ryan Hallisey (goal) and Maeve Maroney (goal) also contributed as Hingham hit double figures in goals for the 10th straight game.

“I have the best teammates,” Grace Maroney said. “I can look at each of them and each of them can step up in big moments.”

Hingham’s versatile offense came in handy against Hanover (9-3), which got its usual big game from senior Eva Kelliher (5 goals). “Eva is someone who always comes out strong,” said Hawks coach Marissa Nimeskern. “Whether it’s on the draw or on offense, she can always find a way to impact the game.”

Hanover came in at number 2 in Div. 3. Hingham has now defeated six different teams currently ranked in the top seven of one of the MIAA’s four divisions. The Harborwomen also have wins over Medfield (No. 1 in Div. 3), Longmeadow (No. 6 in Div. 2), Norwell (No. 7 in Div. 4), Duxbury (No. 7 in Div. 2) and Cohasset (No. 3 in Division 4). Their only losses were against fellow Div. 2 heavyweights Notre Dame Academy (No. 1) and Westwood (No. 3).

“I always try to play a competitive schedule because then you can test yourself,” Farkes said. “That’s how you learn as a team, when you play against top-ranked opponents. I hope it gives the children a push.”