It was never easy corralling Lucy Dodson, the standout center for the La Cañada High girls' lacrosse team.
Allison Dodson, Lucy's mom, who also happens to coach the Spartans, points to a photo that was taken during the playoffs as an example.
"They just can't stop her," Dodson chuckles. "They're hitting her across the head, but they just can't seem to stop her."
All of the coaches in the Prep League knew what kind of mismatches Lucy created on the field, and they paid her the ultimate respect, naming her the Prep League's Most Valuable Player.
"It was the consensus of the league that she was the dominant player in the league — it was pretty evident," said Dodson, who led the Spartans to a 10-8 record.
La Cañada also went 5-1 in league, captured first place in the Prep League's inaugural year. It was also the first year the Spartans sported a CIF-sanctioned lacrosse squad.
Lucy scored 33 goals (second most for the Spartans), recorded five assists, collected a team-high 80 ground balls (an average of 4.4 per game) and won .655% (175 out of 267) of her draws. She's continuing her lacrosse career next year with UC San Luis Obispo after being recruited by some colleges based on the East Coast.
"She controlled the whole field," Dodson said. "She played both offense and defense as a center and was one of our best defenders. She played the whole field every game. We don't take her off the field unless we absolutely have to, or are really blowing another team out."
The Spartans not only boasted the league MVP, but the most talent up and down the roster. Seven La Cañada players received All-Prep League nods (four on the first team and three on the second team). Chadwick was second in selections with six.
La Cañada's fraternal twin teammates, Hannah and Molly Peitzman, also hauled in first-team all-league honors, along with Caroline Gordon, the Spartans' goalkeeper.
Hannah, a senior attacker, led her team in goals with 45 and tied a team-high seven assists with 45 ground balls.
"Hannah is a left-handed player, which is a very nice thing to have on your team," Dodson said. "She is very tall and is really dominant up there on offense."
Molly, a captain and senior midfielder, was the core of La Cañada's defense this season, Dodson said.
"She's a straight defender," Dodson said. "She organized the defense and double teamed with Lucy. She's incredibly good at getting us out of sticky situations by coming up with ground balls and clearing them out of the danger zone."
Dodson didn't hesitate to praise the work of Gordon, a junior, in the net. She finished the season with a 6-7 record and a .477 save percentage (123 saves on 258 attempts).
"Caroline is definitely the best goalie in the league, and one of the best in the California," Dodson said. "She is looking to play in college back East. She'll be playing some games out there this summer. I am looking forward to her leading us as a captain next year."
Three Spartans, Katherine Landesman and identical twins Kelsey and Katie Johnson, were named to the Prep League's second team. All three were unsung heroes, playing an important, but usually not glamorous, part of the game in the midfield.
"They all link the middle, it's a really important job and they don't score many goals, but they play a very important role doing the dirty work," Dodson said.
Landesman finished the season with six goals, four assists and 47 ground balls. Katie had two goals and 36 ground balls. Kelsey also scored twice and collected 16 ground balls.