JEFFERSON TWP — The pregame introductions are a challenge for Mars girls lacrosse coach Cara DuMont.
When each player is announced, they run through a corridor of their teammates.
When they reach DuMont, they each launch into a unique handshake.
Some are simple.
Others are quite elaborate.
“I have to learn all these,” DuMont said, laughing. “Some are complicated and I’m like, ‘You’re killing me!’
“They really like it,” added DuMont, who took the idea of the special pregame handshakes from her playing days at North Allegheny. “Sometimes I freeze up and think, ‘Oh no! Which one is this?’”
DuMont executed the handshakes perfectly. Then her team went out and executed just as flawlessly Wednesday evening in a 21-2 road win over Knoch.
Mars (6-2, 4-1) got goals from nine different players and didn’t even need a tally from its leading scorer, Mara Fuller, until the second half.
Paige Seles scored six goals to lead the Planets.
A pair of freshmen got in on the act as well.
Kelsie Patterson scored two goals and Ella Seebacher notched her first career goal.
That was the plan coming in for DuMont against an overmatched, but gritty, Knoch team.
She hoped to get as many of her younger players involved in the game as she could.
“I just wanted to get the JV more experience on varsity because it’s the next level of playing,” DuMont said. “Just my main motive was to get the older girls to set up assists to the younger girls, get them more comfortable with the flow of the game.”
Fuller was a facilitator instead of a scorer.
The senior, who will play at Kent State University next season, had five assists as Mars ran its offense crisply throughout.
“I couldn’t have asked anything more from them,” DuMont said. “They did a really good job. The older girls were leading the younger girls and the younger girls were sticking with the older girls. I’m very happy with that.”
For the most part, DuMont has been very happy with the way Mars’ season has unfolded.
The Planets are senior-laden, but also will have an influx of a ton of youth in the future.
“I have a lot of seniors — seven this year,” DuMont said. “But I also have 15 freshmen or so. I have a big class coming up.
“It kind of shows what our team is going to be next year and what they have to do when they show up next year,” DuMont said. “We all practice together.”