Talented Milton (Ga.) Girls' Team Knows Games Aren't Played on Paper


After compiling 14 state titles since 2005, it comes as no surprise that Milton (Ga.) is expected to once again be the South Region’s top team. The Eagles are coming off an unbeaten season that culminated in a state title.

The Eagles glided to the state championship on the backs of four players who were named All-Americans.

The 2022 senior class has only lost one game, which came against Georgetown Visitation Prep (D.C.) in the middle of 2019. The Eagles entered 2022 on a 36-game winning streak.

What might be surprising is that a team that lost 10 out of its 12 starters could be considered a favorite. On paper, however, Milton maintains one of the most talented rosters in the region.

Long-time head coach Tim Godby understands games aren’t played on paper. During the first week of the season, Godby said he still had questions about how this year’s squad would mesh, especially given the abundance of youth.

“We are a more balanced team this year,” Godby said. “We have some girls coming up the pipeline that will be able to fill those shoes in the near future.”

Last year’s team included Maddie Dora, the USA Lacrosse Magazine South Region Player of the Year who is now at USC, Brie Catts (Florida), Skylar Carrasquillo (Yale), Marleigh Sanders (Notre Dame) and Marley Scott (Louisville). While Godby said he enjoyed streaming and watching all of his former players compete at the next level during a recent weekend, they are of little help to his squad in 2022.

Godby said he isn’t sure that he has a player on Dora’s level this year, but that does not mean the squad is void of talent.

“We are trying to figure it out as we go,” he said.

Milton will expect contributions from Kristen Courtemanche (Wofford) and Sophie Waters (Rutgers). The team also includes junior Emily Simkin, who starred for the South team at last year’s Under Armour All-America Underclass Tournament.

While there is plenty of talent, there is also a lot of youth. Godby said he plans on using three freshmen and four players who weren’t at the varsity level a year ago.

“There is a lot of learning of where to go, and hopefully we’ll be able to do that,” Godby said. “We are going to be playing against a number of teams that return the majority of their team back from last year. There will be plenty of battles.”

Among the freshmen is Gabby Henry, who has earned a spot between the pipes. Also, freshman Anna Mellinger scored five goals and three assists in an early season contest.

Although the season is young, Milton has already faced some adversity in the form of injuries. Godby said the Eagles have recovered and started the year healthy, with the exception of senior attacker Taylor Kozina, who had an ACL injury.

For the first time in three years, Milton will play its first games out of the state of Georgia. Playing interstate competition will be a new experience for much of Milton’s roster.

On Milton’s schedule this year includes Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.), Connell School of the Holy Child (Md.) and Bishop Ireton (Va.). Milton also visits Florida to face the IMG Academy and welcomes Lake Oswego (Ore.).

Godby agreed that getting back on the road gives his squad something to look forward to.

“It will help the girls in the long run playing that level of team,” Godby said. “It will really help us with our postseason run.

“No one on our team was part of [our last trip]. It will be interesting to see how they handle that. We have experienced a lot as a program, and our coaching staff knows how to prepare them and make the most of it and have a favorable outcome. The ultimate goal is to win in our own state.”

Gunning for Milton in the South Region will be American-Heritage Delray (Fla.), which has arguably two of the top players in the region. Brooke Goldstein, a sophomore attacker, is coming off a freshman season in which she contributed a team-leading 52 goals. The squad also added Carli Fleisher, who transferred from Stoneman Douglas High (Fla.).

Ranked No. 3 in the region is Blessed Trinity (Ga.), which isn’t on Milton’s schedule this year. Milton also wouldn’t face Blessed Trinity in the playoffs, as the two squads play in different divisions.

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