Menlo School’s girls’ lacrosse team continues to be one of the best teams in the Bay Area year in and year out. The last three seasons, Knights’ junior Page Wolfenden has played a significant role in keeping the Knights at those lofty heights. Wolfenden has proven to be the tip of the Menlo attack and for the second year in a row, Wolfenden is the Daily Journal’s Girls’ Lacrosse Player of the Year.
Although the individual accolades are nice, Wolfenden recognizes that the team’s overall success is what’s most important.
“I loved when our team was clicking on the attack, and we’d score goals off of unselfish give-and-go plays. I think our success as a group came from every single player bringing something different to the table, and it made everyone a threat in their own way,” Wolfenden said.
Wolfenden understands how practice is crucial for in-game success, and Page believes that, “the best players get better when no one is watching.” Instilling a solid work ethic translates to results out on the field.
Wolfenden finished the season with 54 goals and led her team with 53 assists, improving on her 53 and 23 performance from the previous year. As more and more teams concentrated on stopping Wolfenden, it merely opened up opportunities for others.
“Page has this quiet energy about her that allows her to lead by example, and her high lacrosse IQ makes her a great tactics strategist,” coach Liz Shaeffer said. “Her tremendous speed and stick work combined with her unselfish play and willingness to make the extra pass benefited the team’s offensive chemistry.”
Menlo scored 244 points as a team this past season and averaged nearly 13 goals per game. As the season wore on, it was apparent that the team was really starting to gel. The Knights jumped out to a four-game winning streak to start the season, which was immediately followed by a three-game slide against a slate of tough non-league opponents.
The Knights continued to be a force in WBAL play, however, ultimating settling for second place. They dropped both regular-season games to Sacred Heart Prep, with the Gators pulling away in the second half of both games on their way to the WBAL regular-season title.
Menlo managed to salvage the season, however, by winning the WBAL tournament title, going through two of the toughest teams on the Peninsula to do so.
In the semifinals, the Knights crossed paths with cross-town rival Menlo-Atherton. The Bears threw everything they had at the Knights, but Menlo prevailed, edging the Bears 11-10. Wolfenden did it all for Menlo, with 3 goals, 5 assists and winning 5 draws.
The Knights got their opportunity to avenge their losses in the WBAL regular season when they faced SHP in the WBAL tournament championship game. This time, Menlo led at halftime, 7-5, and then played the Gators even in the second half to win the tournament championship, 13-11. Wolfenden finished her junior year with a goal, 2 assists and 5 draws won.
“Playing SHP is always a super competitive game that I think everyone looks forward to. The rivalry is intense and we all had so much energy going into the tournament championship. It felt amazing to take home the title and our team was beyond ecstatic to win our last game with the seniors,” Wolfenden said.
Menlo has won 13 league championships since 2004, and this marks the third consecutive year they’ve brought the title home. The Knights will look to make it four in a row next year as Wolfenden prepares for her senior year.