Women’s LAX crushes Bates to remain perfect

This spring, women’s lacrosse (6-0-0; 4-0-0 NESCAC) has attacked the still- thawing fields with a fiery passion. In Sunday’s game against Bates, the Ephwomen continued their winning streak with a 16-2 victory. Although Bates is not one of the top lacrosse teams, Williams did not take this game lightly.

“With Bates you never know what to expect,” Moon-joo Han ’03 said. “We lost to them last year and they’re a dangerous team. They aren’t very skilled, but they work the hardest and put a lot of hustle in their game. The NESCAC is filled with tough athletes. And, as one of the top teams in NESCAC, teams are always looking to beat us. They have nothing to lose, so they’re always up for our games.”

The Ephs took the opportunity in this game to go out strong. “We played amazingly,” Steph Downs ’05 said. “We had great passes and great catches. Everyone contributed and tons of people scored. We were just awesome today.”

Last Saturday, the Ephs faced a revamped Trinity squad and left Hartford, Conn. victorious. “They’re stronger than they were in previous years,” Abi Jackson ’03 said. “Trinity is fast and athletic; they play hard.”

Trinity did prove to be good competition and at halftime the Ephs and Bantams were tied at 5-5. But the momentum of Williams proved to surpass that of Trinity. With the score at 8-7 in the last minutes of the game, when many would become tired, the Ephs stepped it up and put three quick goals in the net. Molly Jennings ’04 topped it off by putting in another goal with 1:29 left on the clock. In the end, despite Trinity’s skills, the Ephwomen successfully added another W to the win column with a 12-8 victory.

While the rest of us were still enjoying our spring break, the Ephs returned from training in Florida and hit the field. In their game against Bowdoin on April 6, the women brought back an 11-9 triumph. The girls also played Springfield on April 4, and came away with a 15-5 win.

While in Florida, the Ephwomen played Colby on March 26 and Union on March 24. “The Colby game was fabulous despite the slow start,” Jackson said. “It was a good example of us getting together in the middle of the game and going after it. We just became focused and clicked. It was a good breakout game after training in the field house during February.”

“Our defense shut down their offense,” Han said, “and the offense did a great job on attack.” And, though their game against Union wasn’t quite as strong, “it was an important win for us,” agreed Han and Jackson. “It’s always important to get conference wins, especially for NCAA.”

Although their spring break trip was less grueling than their indoor training, this strong start proves their practices were successful and worthwhile. In February, when their official training started, the women were worked hard in the field house. Rigorous practices filled with sprints and grueling pool workouts prepared these girls to dominate on the field when the snow finally melted. And although they were not allowed to practice in the winter, the girls took it upon themselves to lift and train while periodically having informal, pick-up style games.

Lacrosse has made some additions to the team this year, with newcomers Rachel Barr ’06, Laura Carrol ’06, Katie Connor ’06, Meghan Dwyer ’06 and Emily Grannon ’06.

“We have a lot of experience,” Jackson said. “We are now a team of players with a deep offense and a deep defense. Everyone can go out and make a contribution and this is what will get us our wins.”

The Ephwomen are looking forward to a strong season. “As a team, expectations are high,” Jackson said. “People are working hard. We have skill and team chemistry to get things done this year. Everyone is ready to make up for the early end of our season last year.”

In agreement with her teammate Jackson, Han said: “If we stay focused and take it one game at a time, we can go very far. We are a very talented and dedicated team.” The team is aiming to make it to the Final Four with continued hard work. The Ephs certainly have shown so far tahat they have the capability to elevate their game to a level of excellence.