Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

May 23, 2013

Gross continues family tradition of starring for girls lacrosse

Gross continues family tradition of starring for girls lacrosse

By David Willis

---- — Officially, her name is Louisa Gross.

But around Andover — and to anyone that follows local lacrosse — she is known as Weezie, the youngest member of Andover girls lacrosse’s first family.

Whatever you call her, however, opposing lacrosse teams are certainly tired of hearing her name following “goal scored by.”

“Lacrosse has always been in our family and has made a huge impact on my life,” said Gross.

Now a junior, Gross is in the midst of her third outstanding season for Andover High, having surpassed 30 goals for the third time in her career, following in the tradition of her sisters, former All-Scholastics Briana (Andover class of 2007) and Cat (class of 2009).

“I have been around lacrosse, and Andover High, for a very long time and I love it,” said Weezie. “I love the game and I want to live up to the standard my sisters have set.”

It seems safe to say, with 38 goals this year and 103 for her varsity career, Gross has more than held her own.

“Weezie is just the all-around athlete,” said first-year Golden Warrior coach Liz Keady. “I had heard she was good before I took the job, but seeing her play was something else. Defenses can know what she is going to do, but they can’t stop her. And she is a midfielder, so she is running all game long.”

The nickname Weezie has been with Gross for nearly as long as she has been alive.

“My parents said that I was home from the hospital for about three days, and everyone was calling me Weezie,” she said. “And the nickname has been with me ever since. I may go with Louisa when I get a little bit older, but for now Weezie is a lot of fun.”

The game of lacrosse has been with Gross just about as long.

After all, she grew up at Eugene V. Lovely Field, watching her sisters build legendary careers for the Warriors.

“Briana and Cat played all sorts of sports but they really fell in love with lacrosse so my mom signed me up too,” said Weezie. “I think I went to just about every game they played in high school. And I went to most of their games in college (Briana at Bates, Cat at UNH). I loved going to my sisters’ games in high school. I knew I wanted to play for Andover.”

Gross wasted no time following in her sisters’ path. She made the varsity team as a freshman, and went on to score 30 goals, including four postseason scores during the Warriors’ run to the Division 1 North finals.

“It was so exciting and so nerve-wracking at the same time to be on the varsity team as a freshman,” she said. “But once I got there, the seniors made it much easier, and the first game I started really gave me confidence. There was pressure following Cat and Briana, but it was good pressure. I wanted to be like them.”

She kept rolling last year with 35 goals, eight in the postseason, earning her MVC All-Star honors.

But this season has been her best yet. With one game remaining in the regular season, she has tallied 38 goals, including six-goal games in victories over Central Catholic and Medfield and five in a win over Chelmsford.

“When you score a goal, you heart is beating so fast,” she said. “All you want to do is score another one. Last year, I really started to get comfortable. (Former Andover head coach John) McVeigh taught me so much. I believe that lacrosse is about getting yourself open and moving the ball around quickly.”

While she still has a year to go at Andover, Gross has already locked up her plans to play Division 1 college lacrosse for the University of Colorado.

“They are playing their first Division 1 season next year and my sophomore year will be their second,” she said. “Their coach has coached me for years at different camps. I was looking at schools further west, I went to visit Colorado and fell in love with the school. Playing Division 1 will be great.”

Keady, for one, has little doubt her star will find success at any level.

“She is tough, hard-working and her passion for the game is contagious,” said Keady. “She is so competitive. She has the skills to score goals any way possible, and if she isn’t scoring — which is rare — she can still make her teammates better.”