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Season of change for 'Stangs

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Mullen girls lacrosse reloading, in a new league and in a sport that hasn't played since 2019; Bialecki heads a roster that has some depth, if not experience; new goalies. 

(Sixth in a series of previews for the new Season D.)

For all that has led to this 2021 girls lacrosse campaign, such as the no-season the past spring (coronavirus, COVID-19), the reality of an increase in head-to-head with club play, the lost period of development and a new Season D that will be brisk and is being asked to cap probably the strangest school year on record, Mullen head coach Melynda Brown maintains a sense of perspective.

When the subject arose of what happened a year ago, Brown said “we’re just excited about this one. We want this year to be fun, refreshing and just go out and enjoy lacrosse this year.

“I think spring sports understand that we’re grateful to have a season. It makes us remember what’s important.”

The Mustangs will lose some players to club play, but program numbers are on the rise, “so our depth is good,” Brown said.

They will look to Elise Bialecki as their leader, a midfielder who has signed with Pittsburgh. Molly Gilbert (attack and signed with Colorado Mesa) and Zara Teger (defense), another senior, also will be counted on for leadership as well as production.

Junior Charlie Beck (athletic and speedy at midfield); junior Haley Vanek (attack-midfield and draws); and senior Claire Mochan (midfield) also are at the ready.

In goal, it’s another story – Brown had to advertise, audition and whatever else she could for candidates. It may change or stay the same throughout 2021, but at the beginning it figures to be some combination of Sloane McCarter and Lauren Krager.

Other sweeping season changes include no Centennial League -- the Mustangs will be in the new East League, which is stacked with Arapahoe, Cherry Creek, Denver East, Fairview, Grandview and Regis Jesuit. Throw in nonleague matches against Valor Christian, Colorado Academy, Cheyenne Mountain and Chaparral, and there is strength of schedule.

“We’re very confident and looking forward to the matchups,” Brown said.

And for the first time, there are two classifications. Mullen will stay in the larger-school 5A for two seasons before dropping to 4A.