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Riverview girls lacrosse star leads nation in goals, total points

Rams junior Susan Lowther has 79 goals and 37 assists (116 points) through 13 games.


Riverview High's Susan Lowther finished 10th in the U.S. in points (162) in 2024 according to MaxPreps statistics.
Riverview High's Susan Lowther finished 10th in the U.S. in points (162) in 2024 according to MaxPreps statistics.
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How does one follow a 73-goal girls lacrosse season?

If you're Riverview High junior Susan Lowther, you follow it with a 79-goal season — with four regular-season games yet to be played.

Lowther is on a tear unlike any the Sarasota area has seen in lacrosse. As of March 21, Lowther's 79 goals leads not only the state, but the nation, according to MaxPreps data. That impressive designation does come with a caveat, as many northern states have either just started or not yet begun their lacrosse seasons. But the fact remains: look at the leaderboard now, and it is Lowther's name at the top. No matter how the dust settles on the season's stats, Lowther is having a year to remember. 

She’s done it by increasing her goals per game average from 3.8 in 2022 — still a strong mark — to 6.1 in 2023. All the while, she’s continued to feed her teammates: Lowther’s 37 assists are closing in on her total of 45 from 2022, and she will likely surpass that number soon. (Her 116 total points also leads the nation, per MaxPreps.)

It's something everyone in our sports community should be talking about. But the last person in the world who wants to talk about it is Lowther. 

"I just try to win (games)," Lowther said. 

Lowther said she resists peeking at the record books, opting to focus on her team before anything else. She and the Rams have done a good job of that. Playing a tough schedule, Riverview is currently 8-5. Sometimes, though, she doesn't have a choice but to hear about it, like on March 20, when during Riverview's 23-9 win over Cardinal Mooney High, the team's PA announcer informed the crowd that Lowther had set the program's single-game scoring record with 13 points (six goals). 

Perhaps the reason Lowther hasn't developed a big head is that she's had to earn her success. She was not always a great scorer, she said. In fact, she used to be timid, too nervous to take shots, even when she had open looks. After her eighth grade season, she said, she knew something had to change. She spent the offseason ramping up her shot and overall stick work. 

"I realized that in order to win, you have to score goals," Lowther said. "If I have the opportunity, I have to take it." 

During her freshman season, Lowther put up 37 goals and six assists — good numbers, even though she was adjusting to a new level of lacrosse. Then things took off. Her play last season earned her looks from major college programs. She committed to Ohio State University in October, citing the program's "amazing" facilities and coaches as major factors in her decision. 

Cardinal Mooney's Darling Bergstrom (12) and Riverview's Susan Lowther (18) take a faceoff.
Photo by Ryan Kohn

What is it that makes her tough to defend? 

It's not one trait; It's that she does everything well. She has a strong, accurate shot, and she's adept at creating space to let it rip, even when double-teamed — or triple-teamed, as happens on occasion. She's on the taller end of the spectrum at approximately 5-foot-10, and she's strong enough to fight off pesky defenders, but she's also quick enough to get down the field ahead of opponents in transition, and she has the so-called lacrosse IQ to know when to use each of the tools in her toolbox. A sign of her overall athleticism: Lowther also competes in track and field. She finished ninth at the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 4A state meet in the discus in 2022 (121 feet, 0.75 inches). 

In her mind, Lowther credits her teammates with finding her when she's open. While Riverview Coach Ashley McCloud agrees that the Rams have done a good job in distributing the ball, she also knows Lowther has a rare ability to make plays happen. McCloud has coached Lowther since she played U10 travel lacrosse. She's seen Lowther's offensive explosion happen, and she's convinced it happened because Lowther earned it. 

"She has an intense hunger," McCloud said of Lowther. "She's incredibly hard on herself. She puts in the work. She has ever since she was little. She's always hitting the wall and shooting on an empty goal. She's texting me about different things we can try." 

After she set the scoring record against Cardinal Mooney, Lowther headed to the sidelines — the game was in hand and there was no reason to risk an injury to the star. But she stayed engaged anyway, cupping her hands around her mouth to cheer for her teammates and pointing out positioning tips to the Rams defense. 

Lowther said she wants to share what she's learned from her playing experience with her teammates, who have been receptive to her feedback. Lowther said being a vocal team leader is as important as being an on-field leader. She wants be both for the Rams. 

But Lowther will be the first to remind you, she's not willing the team to victory alone. The Rams have received 45 goals from sophomore Caroline Steinwachs and 32 goals from sophomore Chloe Hackl. Having multiple scoring options means opponents can't triple-team Lowther for an entire game, even if they may want to try. It's a plan that makes Riverview a challenge to play, and that, more than anything else, is what excites Lowther about this season and the future. 

"If we play like we've been playing and execute everything, we'll be good," Lowther said. "Winning districts is our big goal." 

With the biggest offensive threat in the country at their disposal, the Rams certainly have a shot. 

 

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Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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