The celebration by the Gainesville High girls lacrosse program after a 14-11 win March 22 against Southwest DeKalb at City Park Stadium was well deserved. The Lady Red Elephants managed to break through with their first victory in the nine-year history of the program.
Immediately after the victory, players swarmed to the end zone to have pictures taken around the scoreboard to remember the moment. Playing a 10-game schedule against very strong programs from the metro Atlanta area, first-year Gainesville coach Steve Jameson knows winning the program’s first game was a huge deal.
“Our girls have been awesome,” Jameson said. “A lot of the time, we are outmatched, but our girls continue to play hard.”
Against Southwest DeKalb, the Lady Red Elephants trailed early, but started to get on a roll quickly, building an 8-4 lead before halftime.
“We got to where we were scoring two goals and then giving up one,” Jameson said. “I told the girls, ‘“we’ll trade 2 for 1 goals all night.’”
Gainesville (1-7) hosts Greater Atlanta Christian in its season finale today in Gainesville. Before beating Southwest DeKalb, the closest Gainesville came to winning was a 10-5 loss to Martin Luther King Jr. on March 12.
Jameson, who spent the five previous seasons coaching at Roswell’s Centennial High, says that winning was certainly a boost to his growing program’s confidence. Having a program that is strong in the junior class will bode well to the future, including midfielders Savanna Garrison, Ariana Olalde and Jasmine Flores, and goalie Kelsey Kirkpatrick.
Against Southwest DeKalb, Kirkpatrick had 26 stops, while Garrison led the scoring with four goals.
“Our two goals for this season were to have fun and learn about the game,” Jameson said. “I feel like we’ve accomplished both of those.
“The girls were so psyched to get that first win.”
Jameson, who also spent 12 years coaching high school football at numerous spots across South and Middle Georgia before coming to Gainesville, now wants to do some outreach to teach younger girls about lacrosse. He wants to bridge the gap of inexperience by reaching out to Gainesville Middle, along with getting players involved in different leagues available around Gwinnett County and Forsyth County.
Jameson has 21 active players on the roster this season.
“The girls have been fantastic,” Jameson said. “It’s been a lot of fun coaching this team.”