La Costa Canyon Senior Attack Tara Arolla
By James Joseph
WSL Senior Features Writer
Tara Arolla did not begin playing lacrosse until the winter of her freshman year of high school.
But just a couple months after she learned how to throw and catch, Arolla tried out for the team at La Costa Canyon — and emerged with a spot on the Mavericks’ varsity.
“It was really incredible how quickly she learned,” La Costa Canyon Coach Katie Dolan said. “She’s a gifted athlete, so it came naturally. And she worked hard on it.”
Natural ability plus hard work added up to a standout career for Arolla. In four seasons, she scored a jaw-dropping 296 goals and dished out 97 assists. And from 2006 through 2008, with Arolla prominently involved , the Mavericks won 63 of 66 games.
“Tara stepped up for our program even as a freshman — immediately she was a contributor and played a huge role on the team,” Dolan said. “And every year after that, she continued to grow as a player and added more value.”
Arolla’s play crested her senior year, when she scored 98 goals and added 24 assists to lead La Costa Canyon to a 23-0 record, a second consecutive CIF-San Diego Section title, the No. 2 ranking in WSL’s Top 25 and the top spot in WSL’s California rankings.
“She really shined and led the way for us,” Dolan said.
Arolla, who will be playing NCAA Division I lacrosse next season at UC Berkeley, capped her career by scoring five goals and assisting on another in the Mavericks’ CIF-San Diego Section championship game victory over Coronado. The title game triumph was La Costa Canyon’s 37th straight victory, and it completed a perfect season that even Arolla said was unexpected.
“I’d never had a perfect season in high school,” Arolla said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Dolan noted Arolla’s quickness, “explosive” speed and shooting ability as what made her such a good player. But Dolan was quick to point out that Arolla did not rely on her athletic ability alone.
“She was always looking for new ways to improve her game,” Dolan said.