April 6, 2010

Women's lacrosse wins two after opening loss to DePaul

During halftime, all of the players on the women’s club lacrosse team sit down and discuss what just occurred during the first half. Fourth-year captain Molly Turner leads the discussion. There is no coach present, but she directs the team effectively and lets them know what they should be looking to do in the second half. On Saturday during the game versus Eastern Michigan, the score was 6–2 at halftime. Turner urged the team to double the score in the second half.

Women’s lacrosse has played three games on the Midway since this past Thursday. They lost the season opener to DePaul 5–12. Since then, they seem to have found their groove. They won both of their games on Saturday, first against Robert Morris (18–2) and then versus Eastern Michigan (14–3).

“The team played better than in our first game of the season on Thursday against DePaul, who had already played six games before ours,” third-year Sam Levin explained.

A collective spirit dominates the lacrosse team, and every team member is quick to recognize the integral contribution that everyone else makes in order to accomplish these major victories. “In our first game alone, we had seven different offensive players score,” third-year Emily Wolodiger said. “Many of those goals can be attributed to clean assists and the execution of our set plays.”

Offensively, Turner was the top scorer in both games, and scored six goals in the second game alone.

Many of these assists came from second-year center Kelly Varney. “Varney was key at assisting and transitioning as well as scoring in both games,” Levin said.

“Our transitions in the midfield were increasingly more precise over the course of the day,” said Wolodiger. This strong offense with clean passes helped keep pressure off the Maroons for a good portion of the game. They were backed up by a strong defense whenever control was lost in the game.

“[The defense] was really effective in preventing both Robert Morris and Eastern Michigan from getting near the goal,” Wolodiger said.

Fourth-year defensive wing Sarah Carl was critical in this regard. She also won most of the draws, gaining initial control for many plays.

Saturday’s win was a major confidence booster for the team.

“We hope to maintain this momentum on Tuesday against Wheaton,” Levin said. “[They] should be a well-matched team.”

Continuing their winning streak will be very important for the next two weeks. The team aims to qualify for WCLL playoffs in Toledo, Ohio, on April 18. “To have a chance at qualifying we will probably need a record above .500,” Wolodiger said. This means they need to pull out a win today as well as on Friday to keep qualifying a possibility.

This would be quite the accomplishment for any team, but to do it on a team without a coach would make it all the more impressive.

The women’s lacrosse team leads itself. They organize their own practices as well as games and find referees to officiate. They even go so far as to draw lines on the field using flour before each home game. In the end, it was not just superior abilities and athleticism which brought them their wins on Saturday, but their greater desire to play the game.