by Lisa Palmisano
In Lacrosse, typically club team's go by names representing the year that the players on the team will graduate from high school. Only five years ago, the only "grad" year teams in Florida were for players who were actually in high school--for example: Team 2020, Team 2021, Team 2022 and Team 2023 ( are rising seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshman). Now at tournaments, the ages will go as far out as 2027s which are made up of kids four years out from high school It seems crazy. These young girls are not just playing lacrosse in big tournaments, but they are ballers.
Florida's growth in the sport of lacrosse reflects that of her northern neighbors. The future of lacrosse in Florida is so exciting. I thought it would be fun to catch a glimpse of Florida's future with some little laxers. The first Florida lax girl we're featuring is a 2026, Molly, who plays for M&D Orlando's 2025/2026 team.
Molly has sports in her blood. Her Dad played baseball in the minor leagues and her mom played soccer in college. Her big sisters are both fabulous softball players. Molly started out following in the footsteps of her sisters and dad. Except softball wasn't making the grade for Molly. She wanted something more exciting.
"I started playing lacrosse because softball was too slow for me. I wanted a faster sport, so I tried lacrosse," shared Molly.
Molly enjoyed lacrosse from the get go. Like most kids, her favorite part of lacrosse is bonding time with her teammates on and off the field. Starting a new sport that her parents and sisters were all unfamiliar with did not come without it's challenges. The hardest thing to learn as a new player was how to cradle and keep the ball from falling out of her stick. It can take new players six-nine months to become more adept with their sticks. Eleven-year-old Molly has worked hard to develop her skills in the 8 short months since she first picked up a stick.
To improve her stick skills, Molly began a wall ball routine. This sixth grader does 100 right handed catches, 100 left hand catches, 25 one-handed on each side and off side catches. She loves learning about lacrosse so much that she began watching lots of YouTube lacrosse videos to learn new skills and moves. She likes to watch videos by Taylor Cummings and the highlights from her old neighbors' Anna & Sara from American Heritage
Molly's goal is to work hard to keep improving her game so that one day in the future she can play D1 lacrosse in college. Molly's knows what it will take to reach her goal. "I learned if you really want to be good that you have to practice a lot." Molly doesn't mind practicing because she loves the fastest game on two feet.
"It's fun!" stated Molly, "I enjoy learning lacrosse and I look forward to playing it every day! I never get bored of it."
Molly's love was fostered by the coaches she's had at her club M&D Orlando! She has learned so many things from a dedicated group of coaches.
Ron Hill who is in the Syracuse Hall of Fame gave Molly her first lessons. He instilled the basic fundamentals and built up Molly's confidence as he's done for many new lacrosse players in Florida! He even taught Molly how to catch backhanded. Coach Mike Tobin taught Molly the X's and O's of offense and defense. He is a great coach who encourages Molly on the field. Coach Melissa Villanti has taught Molly some cool stick skills and helped her to become stronger. Coach Mal Olin has taught Molly about having a lax IQ and where to go, what to do during the game. Molly takes lessons today from Coach Chelsea Pinneke who has made Molly's shooting and foot work better.
"I feel lucky to have so many great coaches," Molly declared, "M&D has incredible coaches."
This rising 6th grader is one dedicated girl and it's evident in her play. In less than one year of playing, she's grown in her lacrosse skills through her hard work. The future of girl's lax in Florida is bright with little laxers like Molly! It will be fun to follow her career and to see Molly reach her goal to play lacrosse in college.