The Rockets have already tripled last season's win total, but lost to Red Lion on Tuesday


Spring Grove head coach Jeff Richards took one look at his team and couldn't help but think back to last season. The expressions on his players' faces reminded him of how the Rockets looked a year ago, when they went just 1-15 in his first season.

The Rockets were trailing Red Lion by six goals at halftime of Tuesday's home game.

"At halftime I saw some of the same looks I saw on their faces last year, where girls were thinking, 'Oh here we go again,'" Richards said. "Keeping them fired up is part of my job. But I think they know we can be good."

Spring Grove's 2016 campaign began on March 24, and the Rockets (3-3) have already tripled last season's win total. But Tuesday was a reminder that they still have room to improve, as they lost to Red Lion, 16-9.

While the Rockets allowed goals on the game's first two possessions, they responded by scoring four straight and led, 6-4, with 14 minutes remaining in the first half. But Red Lion (2-2) answered by scoring eight straight goals before halftime and cruised the rest of the way.

"We like to play fast and control the draw and we did, but then we get sloppy with the ball and start throwing it away," Richards said. "We get excited about scoring and start taking bad shots."

Spring Grove isn't used to having a winning team in girls' lacrosse, but Richards is determined to turn things around. According to him, the first step to doing that is getting the players to change their mindset and believe they can win consistently.

He admitted that last season was a learning experience, but the second-year coach said the Rockets proved to him during the offseason that they're committed to improving the program. That's why he wasn't surprised when Spring Grove topped last season's win total before April even began.

And the Rockets aren't satisfied with just having a better record than last season. With a mix of upperclassmen and freshmen in the lineup, Ricahrds believes Spring Grove can finish with a winning record.

"We don't have a very good history here so we're rewiring everybody and getting them in to a new mentality," Richards said. "It's very realistic that we finish with a winning record."

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