After a rough 1-2 start, the College’s women’s lacrosse team proved once again last week that they are among the elite teams in the nation.
Last Tuesday, the Lions traveled to Collegeville, Pa. and handily took care of Ursinus College 16-3. The Lions went into the game ranked sixth in the nation, but they had something to prove after suffering two defeats the previous week.
The Lions did not waste any time, with attacking the goal being their number one priority. At the end of the first half, the score was 2-1 in favor of the Lions, but in the second half the College stepped it up and scored 14 goals.
Junior midfielder Bridget Bigley and freshman midfielder Karen Doane tallied six goals apiece to lead all scorers on the day. Sophomore attacker Kate Neese and junior midfielder Lauren Dougher each notched two goals to cap off the Lions’ scoring.
“It was nice to see Bigley start scoring again,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “And Doane has been playing great for us and has enormous potential to continue to excel.”
Junior goalie Megan Marquardt had a total of eight saves on the day.
On Saturday the Lions made the long trek to Fredericksburg, Va. to face the University of Mary Washington (UMW). Apparently, the Lions were not satisfied with only 16 goals in their previous game, so they tacked on four more in the 20-3 annihilation of UMW.
The Lions’ offense spread the wealth around more in this game, with a total of eight scorers. Dougher led all goal scorers with four and also added on five assists. Bigley and freshman midfielder Toni-Anne Cavallo each had four goals and an assist. Other goal scorers included Neese with three and senior midfielder Lauren Gossner, who had a goal and three assists.
Once again, Marquardt had a solid game in net for the Lions, making seven saves in her 47 minutes played. Marquardt’s solid play earned her the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s goalie of the week honor for the first time this season.
After two unexpected losses at the beginning the season, the team seems to be in good shape, according to captain Dougher, who cites a strong team effort having a large role in the two wins this week.
“Our last two wins against Ursinus and Mary Washington were really crucial in helping us gain some of that confidence back,” Dougher said. “But mostly we proved to ourselves that we have the talent to win big like that. It may sound a little clich?, but it really has been a big team effort. When someone makes a mistake, someone else is there to clean it up and you hardly even notice the error.”
As a freshman, Cavallo said that she is already picking up on the team-oriented attitude that is needed to compete at a high level.
“You can’t win with one person,” Cavallo said. “So whether or not someone had the most amount of goals or the most ground balls doesn’t make a difference because unless there were 11 of us working together on the field, we never would have won.”
Pfluger said that the biggest obstacle facing the team after its two losses was many players’ unfamiliarity with the feeling of losing in the regular season.
“Mostly, it was about regrouping and gaining our confidence back,” she said. “The upperclassmen on the lacrosse team had never lost a regular season lacrosse game ever. The possibility of losing never came to their minds.”
Now that the Lions once again have a winning record with three wins and two losses, it is time to start looking ahead to the future and some tougher competition. On Saturday, the College will be at home to take on St. Mary’s College at 1 p.m. and on Tuesday, the Lions will play host to Stevens Institute of Technology at 7 p.m.
Both the coach and players seem primed for another successful week.
“I feel like we are back on track,” Pfluger said. “Although we have experienced some tough growing pains, we should be stronger for the lessons we have learned.”
Cavallo agreed. “If we continue to play with the intensity and passion like we have for the past couple of games, then we should come out on top,” she said.