At first glance, last season did not go well for the women’s lacrosse team. They notched only five wins in fifteen games and fell short of North Coast Athletic Conference playoff berth. However, six of those losses were by three goals or less. Additionally, the Gators led the conference in goals and points per game.
Attacker Kiah Voyer-Colbath, ‘12, who was second in scoring for the Gators a year ago, put it into perspective.
“Last season had its fair share of disappointments, but also triumphs,” she said.
The team has experienced a lot of motivation after last season and it has translated into this offseason. Head Coach Paula Habel has the Gators in shape and ready to play.
“Offseason practices have been intense, but very productive,” said Jensen Paterson, ‘10.
The team has a new attitude: they are breaking things down and focusing on the little things. One of their goals is playing with a game-to-game attitude, not just looking at the ultimate goal of an NCAC Championship.
The current team is made up of mostly seasoned players; 16 letter-winners are returning from last season. In order to replace the four graduating seniors from last season, the Gators have added two incoming freshmen to the roster, including promising defender Noelle Brouillard, ‘13, who has earned the praise of her teammates with her talent and hard work.
Tuesday, the Gators traveled to Maryland to face the fast-paced attack of the Frostburg State Bobcats and put their new strategy to the test. Unfortunately, they fell short in another close game, 12–14.
“All things considered, the team played well, but lacked consistency,” said Habel.
Junior Jensen Paterson scored a game-high six points (five goals and one assist), which included her 100th career goal. She was not the only Gator to hit a career milestone.
Christina Zanic, ‘10, scored two goals, marking the 100th point of her career. Additionally, Goalie Becca O’Shurak, ‘11, had a career-high 10 saves for the Gators.
Habel also noted that the team benefitted from an impressive performance from Brouillard in her first career game and from Becca Crissman, ‘12, who supplied a lot of energy coming off the bench.
The team will learn as much as they can from the loss and try to put it behind them. In the future, if the Gators can play consistently for 60 minutes they will be tough to beat.
“We can expect a lot more from the Gators this season,” Habel said.
The Gators return to action Saturday for their home opener against Alfred University at Robertson Field at 1 p.m.