Women’s LAX defeats Cards to remain undefeated

Women’s lacrosse (8-0-0; 6-0-0 in the NESCAC) has charged through another week of competition to remain undefeated. On Saturday the Ephs took on the Wesleyan Cardinals and came away with a 14-8 victory. Despite what the score may suggest, the match against the Cardinals proved to be a challenging one for the Ephs.

“The scouting reports of Wesleyan had indicated that the Wildcats were stronger than ever before.” Moonjoo Han ’03 said. “We did not come out thinking that this would be an easy game.” The girls were forewarned that Wesleyan would be aggressive, hard working and scrappy, and that is exactly what Williams saw on Saturday.

Wesleyan came out strong in the first half of the game and was leading 6-3 at the half. “We weren’t getting draw controls,” Han said. “Possession is really important off the draw, and we couldn’t get the loose balls.”

The women also had difficulty on defense. “They got the chance to reset on offense two or three times,” Abi Jackson ’03 said. “They always got the first steps, especially on the arc, and we were moving flat-footed.”

Although both Williams and Wesleyan had similar numbers of shots on goal at the half, the Ephs failed to place the shots well, putting a lot in the goalie’s stick or hitting the post.

However, despite its initial weakness in the first half, Williams was able to pull it together for a strong second half. “We were intense and fired up from the start,” Han said. “We changed our midfield and put the taller people in the circle. With this change we got draw control, which helped us out a lot.”

Not only did Williams step up its possession of the ball, but the defense pulled together as well. “We had better midfield defense in the transition,” Jackson said. “We contained the ball, slowed down the offense, and pressured them well. They had no fast breaks in the second half and they were not as good with their set game.”

The Ephs’ revival in the second half caught Wesleyan off guard. “As we got better,” Han and Jackson said, “they got sloppy, flustered and frustrated. We scored 11 goals in the second half and we’re really proud of that.”

Overall, despite the initial set back, the Ephwomen were able to come out of a challenging game undefeated. “We didn’t come out strong,” Jackson said, “but in the second half our ability to refocus and listen to Head Coach Chris [Mason] was translated into the game to give us another win.”

The Ephwomen also played the Connecticut College Camels last Wednesday. Although the Camels are one of the weaker teams in the league, ranked ninth in the NESCAC standings, they provided a challenging game for the Ephs.

“We started strong with three goals in the first couple of minutes,” Han said, “but we got sloppy as the game went on. We let Conn. score a bunch of goals.” With a final score of 15-9, the Ephs let in the most goals since their return from Florida.

“We wanted to have a good game,” Han said, “but this was surprising because they’re not one of the strongest teams on our schedule. We didn’t play together and even though we pulled out with a win, we were hard on ourselves afterwards for not playing well.”

Though these last games were not as strong as they could have been, the Ephs have come out unscathed with a continued perfect record.

The biggest games are to come this week. The women have a very tough schedule, with games on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday against Tufts, Middlebury and Amherst, respectively. “We want to have a full sixty minutes of good, hard playing,” Jackson said. “We can’t have a slow start, especially with Middlebury and Amherst.” Tufts should be a challenge, even though they are only ranked eighth in the league.

“We want to put everything together and take it to them,” Jackson said. “We want a strong solid game to go into Wednesday with.” Middlebury is tied with Williams for first in the league and Amherst trails not far behind in third.

“These next three games decide our season,” Han said. “We want to go in strong to the end of our regular season and post season. We want to get stronger and hope the momentum builds as we go on.”

The Ephwomen have continued their winning ways this week and hopefully it will carry over into the upcoming week’s competition well. Finishing undefeated would greatly help lacrosse in placement for the NCAA tournament.