Quick Sticks Girls' Lacrosse Column: Twin sisters and team captains help propel Ipswich to the top of Division 4 (2023)

Ashton FlatterHe is ranked No. 3 in the Ipswich Upper Class 2023. He is a highly skilled musician who plays the oboe and will be attending MIT later this year to study Aerospace Engineering.

her twin sister,Kayden Flatter(2 minutes older) is No. 4 in the Ipswich Upper Class of 2023. She is also a very successful musician who now plays the alto saxophone and is on her way to Colby College to study economics.

Her girls' lacrosse team at Ipswich High is the only one to score higher than her.

Ashton, a goaltender, and Kayden, a forward, are senior captains and major reasons why the Tigers are currently No. 1 in the state's Division 4. With a record of 13-1 and two regular season games remaining this week, Ipswich will be hoping for a long and fruitful post-season culminating in the crowning of the state champions.

Should that happen, the Flather sisters will undoubtedly play a huge role in this playoff process.

“Having both of you as captains is great for us,” says IHS head coachAllison Tivnanhe said recently before a workout. “Ashton was captain as a junior and leads our defense while Kayden has been a great addition as captain and leads our attack. In fact, he also warms up Ashton before games.

"They really set the tone for us across the field," added Tivnan, who wrote college recommendations for both sisters. "When it comes to leading by example on and off the field, they are top notch in that regard."

The twins share more than one bedroom (and bunk beds, with Ashton sleeping on the top bunk). They are essentially the same height (Kayden is an inch shorter than his sister at 5'7") and share most of their clothing. Both are thrilled to be part of the gold medal winning Ipswich Jazz Ensemble and last month went them on a 'concert tour' across England with over 150 of their classmates.

Both have taken the same eight Advanced Placement courses at Ipswich High over the past two years and describe themselves as "STEM (Maths, Science, Technology, Engineering) kids".

Of course there are differences. Aside from her college and career choices, Ashton is a vegetarian, while Kayden cheekily says, "I love meat." She is also more of a worker while Ashton admits she is more of a procrastinator.

They definitely have one thing in common: mutual respect for each other's lacrosse talents.

"You can tell when she's having a day," Kayden said, referring to her sister's brilliance online. "She saves for the first time and I just know, 'Ashton's having a day today.' She makes it very difficult for shooters to beat her when it's her turn, and she's always calm when it comes to clearing the ball and not forcing passes, she's good at making good decisions.

"For our team, training against them every day definitely helps us prepare for any opponent we face."

Tivnan agreed with Ashton, who had 129 saves, 14 interceptions and 13 ground balls that spring.

"We like to say that training against Ashton is great for us because in real matches we won't find many goalkeepers as good as them," said Tivnan.

Equally acclaimed was Ashton Kayden, a pass-first forward with 16 goals, four assists and 19 grounds who likes to slow down and control the ball.

"She's the one who organizes things offensively," said Ashton, who admitted her excellent defensive play is a big reason she hasn't taken many shots this spring.

"They tend to run and score, but Kayden calms down the situation and only shoots when he has the best possible shot. That's why he has a really high shot speed. You can certainly learn from this.

"It's fun to watch her play," added Ashton. "Kayden has really good stick skills, he can break through anyone on defense and he catches anything you throw at him. She's one of the first people I look up to with an open mind. He's someone you can trust to get the ball don't lose if he's behind."

Naturally, on a team as talented as the Tigers, the Flather sisters get a lot of help from their teammates.

Senior Captain MateLexi Wright, a defender coming back from injury and ready to return to the line-up, is having a huge impact on the squad, as is the junior scoring starEstelle Gromko(24 goals, 15 assists, 16 GB) in midfield.

Other excellent offensive players in this dispersed offensive unit are the seniorsCaroline Bailey(19 Tore, 10 Assists) en JuniorRoom green leaf(a leading team with 30 goals, 18 assists and 76 draws at 18 GB) on offense and freshmanAllie Will(24 goals, 11 assists, 18 GBs, 25 goals conceded), among others.

Wright faces Ashton defensively and is the lone senior.ella stein(17 goals, 5 assists, 24 draws) was, like his younger teammates, an excellent defenderMorgan Kuster. There are several sophomores and freshmen who have also been successful in starting positions, Tivnan said, such as the ninth graders.Lucy Donahue(26 sales caused) andJade Wilcox(26 spins caused, 20 GB).

Ashton said she would like to balance keeping music and lacrosse as part of her daily life at MIT, where she acknowledges the demanding nature of the course. Kayden said she could try making the Colby Women's College lacrosse team as a walk-on, or she could play at Lax Club instead, and she's excited about a new performing arts facility on the Waterville campus , Maine.

Having recently won the Baker Division of the Cape Ann League and preparing for trials in Winchester on Monday and Beverly on Wednesday, Tivnan said she and her team have spoken a lot about the pressures and expectations with the state tournament closing so close. is waiting.

"The teams are trying to put you down and we know it. But I think that's why the girls train so hard every day," she said. "We don't want anyone to catch us. We want to play as long as possible.


The remarkable career of the Essex Tech SuperstarMaddie McDonaldcontinues to reach new heights. Last week he scored eight goals against Hamilton-Wenham to surpass 300 points in just three seasons.

The senior captain now has 250 goals, 57 assists and 307 total points with three regular season games left this week, plus the vocational school playoffs and the upcoming Division 3 state tournament.

McDonald, who has 75 goals and 15 assists this spring, is also among the top 5 percent of his college graduates (4.78 GPA) and will continue his studies and lacrosse career at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

"The best part is that he has scored most of his goals against tougher competition than we had planned for this season," said the Hawks head coach.Matt Gwilliam, which prevents you from scoring more than one goal against less experienced rivals. "We've played against teams like Georgetown and Bishop Fenwick twice and those are the games where he scores 8-9 goals. That relieves other people and makes them shine too."

The reigning MVP of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference, who scored a whopping 121 goals and 156 points in 2022, has become "almost a third manager" for the Hawks, Gwilliam said.

„(Junior Varsity-coach)Lindsay O'Connelland I've got 40 girls together and I look at the big picture, the X's and the O's. But the little things can sometimes escape you, and Maddie knows that so well. She can see those finite things, like someone not turning in the right direction or not letting go properly. You can help your teammates make corrections in training and matches.

"In practice, we often put the girls in position groups and say, 'Okay, middies, go to Coach Maddie.'"

A middie who has finally joined McDonald is a sophomoreJanelle Dalton. The sophomore and second best scorer (21 goals, 4 assists) at Essex Tech is sure to take on the role of the main offensive cog after graduating from McDonald's and she has learned as much as she can from the senior standout this season.

"It's a relationship I really wanted to nurture," Gwilliam said, "to the point where I said to Maddie, 'I want Janelle to come with you.' Years. Like Maddie, Janelle is extremely competitive, and she takes on the challenge of being defensive against Maddie in practice, controlling her racket and tripping her defensively whenever she can. They both have fun all the time, laughing and stuff."

"Janelle didn't start the season as a starter, but she made the difference every time she came into play," added Gwilliam. "He can also step in and help the defense when we ask him to. He wants to learn, improve and help the team. She was great.


Of the 11 teams under the MIAA umbrella reported by The Salem News, 10 should have at least one playoff game. Seven teams have already officially qualified: Peabody (10-5) and Beverly (13-4) in Division 1; Masonomet (13-4) in Division 2; Swampscott (10-4) and Essex Tech (12-2) in Division 3; and Ipswich (13-1) and Hamilton-Wenham (9-7) in Division 4.

When the regular season wraps up this weekend, three more will almost certainly follow. Marblehead are currently 6-11, but are the number 16 seeded team in Division 2 and are in no danger of dropping out of the top 32. Danvers (7-8) is currently 26th in Division 2 with three games remaining this week (Senior Night at home Monday vs Hamilton-Wenham, Wednesday Youth Night vs Manchester Essex, also at home, and Thursday at Peabody) . land at .500 or higher with a strong finish. Even if they don't make it, they will undoubtedly finish in the top 32.

Bishop Fenwick is one game short of .500 (8-9) in Division 3, but the Crusaders are 14th in the latest poll and won't miss the postseason.

Contact Phil Stacey



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