Published: April 28, 2016
The University’s women’s lacrosse team secured a playoff spot after beating Elizabethtown College 20-8 Saturday at Fitzpatrick Field.
The team has been clicking lately, winning seven of their last eight, after starting the season 3-4.
Junior midfielder Meghan Kerr said the team’s recent success has spawned from understanding each other more and an improved team chemistry.
“I think we’re just really coming together on and off the field,” Kerr said. “From a chemistry standpoint, we’re starting to finally see the strengths and weaknesses of each other. Because we’ve had such a big freshman class, it took us a little while to recognize the strengths, but we’ve been working very well together.”
Even with the regular season still underway, the team has surpassed its record of 6-10 from a year ago.
Senior midfielder Erin Allen said the team made sure it was preparing hard in the offseason, and a lot of that was a result of the senior leadership.
“I know over the winter and the summer we got in our workouts, and I think we had a really big focus this year,” Allen said.
“We had a lot of goals we wanted to reach, so that definitely helped us in the offseason. Us four captains, three seniors, wanted to make a big impact this year, so we were pushing each other every day, trying to stay on top of our workouts.”
Allen matched her career high Saturday with six goals. Kerr also netted two goals and recorded two assists.
While the team’s upperclassmen undertake the leadership role, the team is getting help from every class, especially younger members.
“We’re definitely a freshman-sophomore, younger team. We have four juniors and three seniors,” Allen said. “They’ve been making an impact since day one. They came in and were ready to play everyday, so their contributions have been great.”
With a playoff spot clinched, Allen said the team is remaining focused, and that the fact they know their season will go on longer makes them ‘play even better.’
However, the season is not over, as the team faces a familiar rival Saturday, as they travel to Washington, D.C. to play Catholic University.
Allen said while the team is focused on the playoffs, there is some extra motivation to beat Catholic.
“Yeah, definitely. If we beat them, we’ll actually be in first place (of the Landmark Conference). If we beat them, we can secure a home playoff game,” Allen said. “Me and the two other seniors, that’s been our goal every single year. The closest we’ve came was when we lost by one goal our freshman year.”
The successful season is even sweeter for the team, considering the team underwent a less-than successful year in 2015.
Fellow senior captain Bridget Gallaher said the tumultuous season last year helped the team grow as a whole.
“It’s been a growing experience. We’ve grown as a team, and we’re really clicking this year,” Gallaher said. “I think it’s all because we’re working as a cohesive unit, we’re all friends and very close with each other. It translates very well on the field.”
Gallaher echoed Allen’s words, emphasizing how important beating Catholic would be.
“I said last night it (beating Catholic) would make my life,” Gallaher joked. “It would really be the culmination of the past four years. The last four years have been fun, exciting, stressful, everything. But beating Catholic would be the ultimate goal. It would define my career at The University.”
Gallaher noted the team may have to take a more cerebral approach against Catholic.
“The intensity is high going into this game, as we all just want to beat them. We’ll have to be strategic, though. They’re really good this year, so for example, if we’re up, at any point, we’re going to probably have to hold the ball as much as possible,” Gallaher said.
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