Spartanburg ‘s girls lacrosse program reached new heights this season. Lanie Graves helped lead the way.
Graves scored 62 goals, collected 19 ground balls and won 75 draws for the Vikings, who claimed the Region III-5A title and advanced to the upper state final. Her outstanding season has earned Graves the Herald-Journal/GoUpstate Player of the Year honor.
“We worked hard for this,” Graves said. “It’s a great way to end my career.”
Graves is the second straight Viking to win the award. Teammate Carley Camp took the honor a year ago.
The Vikings started 10-0 on the year, and Graves said that start was essential to the Vikings’ success.
“It mean a lot to the team to start off so quick,” she said. “We got a lot of confidence, especially a lot of the younger girls, and we just worked together really well.”
Spartanburg was especially strong in the midfield, with Graves' ability to collect draw controls a big reason why.
“That was really important,” she said. “The draw control starts the whole game, and with the three of us (Alaina Hrysikos and Camp, as well as Graves) able to have success helped us tremendously. It’s the same with goals, the three of us just worked together really well. We’ve been playing together for a long time, so the chemistry is definitely there.”
Graves said that while taking the step to play for an upper state crown was special, the region championship probably meant just as much to the Vikings.
“It meant a lot to the program,” she said. “It’s the first one, so it was very special to us.”
Graves will attend Clemson, and hopes to stay around the sport.
“I might try to play club there,” she said.