YARMOUTH — Lucy Gerrity was in danger of losing her voice Friday.
So she found a better way to get her message across to her North Yarmouth Academy girls’ lacrosse team.
“Move your feet!” she kept screaming whenever the Panthers went on the attack early in an 18-5 victory over McAuley.
Eight minutes into the contest, Gerrity called timeout, and an odd scene ensued. Her players were gathered in a big circle jumping up and down and performing the “Scary Feet” dance from the movie “Monsters Inc.”
Eighteen seconds after that sideline samba, Alexandra Wahlstrom fed Isabella Munro for a goal and the rout was on.
“They were asleep and it was time to wake them up,” Gerrity said.
“It gets them laughing, which is important. It’s important that they have fun out here.”
None of the Panthers are having more fun than Gerrity this season. It was only five years ago that she was starring on the very same field.
At 23, she finds herself coaching North Yarmouth Academy, not far removed from the experiences her players are going through.
“This is exactly what I want to do. This is the best part of my day,” said Gerrity, who also works in the NYA marketing department.
“It’s very surreal. When we get out here at the beginning of every game, I’m taken aback that I’m not on the field, that I’m not No. 21 walking around out here.”
Gerrity said it was her dream to coach the Panthers since her senior year of high school. Then, she went off to Colby College and thought about coaching at that level instead.
She followed her brother’s footsteps back to NYA. Peter, 27, coaches the boys’ team, and has been a big help to her, Lucy said.
Still, it’s been an adjustment working with young athletes, some of whom have never played the sport before this year.
Gerrity spent Friday pacing the sidelines alternating between yelling encouragement to her team and shouting out basic instructions. At the game’s outset, the Panthers moved quickly into the attack zone and then promptly became timid.
“Why aren’t they shooting?” Gerrity asked her assistants. “They’re stalling and it’s 0-0.”
Later, Gerrity found herself consoling a player who was banished to the sideline with a yellow card.
These are constant reminders that she’s not dealing with college athletes anymore. But Gerrity takes them in stride.
“I definitely relate to them about so many things,” she said. “They’re talking about the geometry test and I’m like, ‘Yep, I didn’t do well on that one either. Don’t worry about it.’
“I just love these girls.”
The Panthers are 3-4, but have won three of their past four. Gerrity said her players are learning their roles, concentrating on eliminating turnovers, and ready to make some noise.
On Friday, Wahlstrom had five goals and two assists. Munro added three goals and two assists.
Nine Panthers scored.
“I see this team going far,” Gerrity said. “These girls are so good when they’re so good. We didn’t even play our best today. I’d say our midfield transition was a little brutal. But I think that attacking-wise, realizing that they can score 18 goals was important.”
It started with them moving their feet in unison.
But there’s no denying that Gerrity is bringing some youthful vigor to her alma mater.