Dartmouth Youth Lacrosse Club sees season and registration success

Jun 10, 2024

It was only three years ago when the Dartmouth Youth Lacrosse Club didn’t have enough boys under 9 to run a program for that age group, according to Club Board member Nina McGoff.

Nor did the club ever have enough girls to have a first and second grade team beyond its weekly clinics, McGoff said.

However, last year, the club saw a revival of the under 9 boys team, and this year, with its highest registration yet in its 15 years of operation, the Club welcomed two under 9 boys teams and a girls first and second grade team, according to McGoff.

The club hosted its second annual lacrosse tournament for the boys under 9 and under 13 teams within the Cape Cod Lacrosse League at Friend’s Academy over the June 8 and 9 weekend to close out the season.

On Sunday, the under 9 white team lost the last game of the tournament after an undefeated season, finishing in second place in the “A” bracket, according to McGoff.

After a “near perfect” season, with only one loss prior, the green team lost their second game in a “nail-biting” overtime, McGoff said. The team placed second in bracket “B.”

Lacrosse can be a pretty physical sport, but according to players on the under 13 team — that’s what they like about it.

“I like how there’s so much contact,” said Cooper Houlihan, 12, with his teammates, Ryan Burdman, 12, and Jackson Caldas, 11, agreeing.

The boys also all agreed to have played well during the tournament, having won both their games on Saturday, and first in their bracket overall. 

That being said, Caldas said he felt defense could have done more poke checking, which is when a defender uses their stick to jab the hands of the ball carrier to try and get it loose.

This is something Caldas said he also wants to work on going forward as “it's hard to do it while you’re running.”

Burdman said in his three years of playing lacrosse, the second game of the day was his “best.” 

“I had two goals [and] some good defense,” he said, adding how he also got two assists in the first game.

In regard to his time in the club overall, Burdman said, “I think the kids and the coaches are very great and I like the environment.”

McGoff’s husband, Tj McGoff, serves as the head coach for the team and also as the boys program director.

Nina McGoff said Tj played lacrosse in college and they both got involved with the club when their kids began playing.

“It’s so exciting to watch,” Nina said. “It’s fast paced and it’s short.”

In regard to the teams’ performance this season, she said, “We are just so proud of them.”