Women’s lax ranked 8th in nation

The Williams women’s lacrosse team started the year off well, tallying four wins and only one loss in their first two weeks of action. The Ephs held off two NESCAC opponents, as well as nationally ranked Denison, to round out the week ranked eighth in the nation.

Saturday the Ephs defeated the Tufts Jumbos 13-7 in NESCAC action. Despite going scoreless in the first six minutes of play, Williams jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Tufts quickly retaliated making the score 2-1. But the Ephs began an intense offensive attack, leading to three straight goals and a 5-1 lead. Holding back a Tufts offensive onslaught in the final minutes Williams was able to hold onto the lead 7-5 going into the half.

The second half started as a battle as both teams racked up a goal in the opening minutes. But the Ephs were too much for Tufts as Eph goalie Dede Orraca-Tetteh ’99 (six second half saves) and the defense made several key stops, while Alison Furey ’99 and Michelle Kovacs ’01 combined for five goals to open up a 13-7 lead. Caitlin Ritchie ’00 notched three goals and two assists on the day, while Cara Shortsleeve ’00 added two goals and two assists. Heather Black ’02, Kristen Sullivan ’01 and Robin Severud ’00 each had a goal.

Earlier in the week, Williams dominated Springfield College, scoring five goals in the first four minutes. Although Springfield answered with a goal, the Ephs went on a 9-1 scoring run, making it 14-2 at the halftime break. Springfield rallied to strike first with two goals in the second, but Williams quickly squelched their comeback as the defense stepped up their play and Eph passing improved to seal the 17-6 victory. Ritchie and Shortsleeve had outstanding games, netting six goals each. Sullivan notched two goals and Severud, Furey, Kovacs, and Black each added one. Furey led the way for assists with five, followed by Courtney Stokes ’99 and Severud with two each. Orraca-Tetteh stopped five shots in goal.

Over break Williams bounced back from a loss to Bowdoin to defeat Bates with a huge 13-3 win. Coach Chris Mason was excited about the win: “Our defense was tight today and our passing was outstanding. You can see by the fact that we had assists on eight goals that we were moving the ball much better than we did yesterday.” Shortsleeve nabbed three goals as well as three assists while Ritchie and Sam Daigneault ’00 had two each. Furey, Severud, Black, Sullivan, Kovacs and Mary Navins ’01 added one each to bring Williams’ total to 13. Orraca-Tetteh made nine saves in goal.

Williams opened their season in Florida with a close 10-9 win over twelfth-ranked Denison University. Williams led 5-2 in the first half, but the Eph defense began to get tired in the second. However, Orraca-Tetteh was a force in goal, deflecting nine shots. Sullivan led the way for the Ephs with three goals, while Furey, Ritchie, and Shortsleeve (one assist) tabulated two.

With a 4-1 record and riding a three game win streak, the women will play their next game at Cole Field today at 4:15 against Smith College.