The second year for the members of the Pittsfield girls lacrosse team is different than the first. Just ask Victoria Symanski, and she'll tell you.
"We have a new coach and it's different," she said. "It was definitely much more serious. We take it much more seriously than we did last year."
The Pittsfield senior started her season in a fine fashion as she scored seven goals in Friday's 12-10 opener against Wahconah Regional. Symanski scored the game-winning goal with 2 minutes left in the second half and added an assist. For that performance, Symanski was voted the Eagle's first Player of the Week in the spring sports season.
"It was much better than I thought was going to happen," said Symanski of her opening-day performance.
Nobody should be surprised by the performance, since Symanski was one of the top three scorers in Berkshire County last year. The junior said that her numbers were nice, but that wasn't what she noticed.
"I was really impressed with how all the other girls scored too," she said.
Symanski said that much like good play on the field, scoring can be contagious. Getting those 12 goals in the opener gave her and her teammates in purple and white a good feeling.
"It was so exciting," she said. "We were tied for a while with Wahconah. Then we got going at the end. It was so much fun.
High school lacrosse for boys and girls made its debut as a varsity sport a year ago in Berkshire County. It was Symanski's third year playing the sport, as she took it up when she went to high school.
"Last year was brand new for everyone involved," she said. "Mostly everyone had just started playing. I started playing my freshman year. It was still new to me."
Symanski's introduction to the new sport was pretty difficult at first. She said it took her about a week to feel comfortable.
"You catch on really quickly, and it's so much fun," she said. "At first, it's really different. It's a great sport and I really like it."
A year ago, Pittsfield finished 5-8-1, and was three points shy of making it to the Western Massachusetts tournament in its inaugural year. This team might still be new - at least compared to teams in the Pioneer Valley - but getting so close last year is assuredly driving the team this year.
"I definitely want to make Western Mass. this year," she said. "We were so close last year. I really want to do it this year."