Women’s lax snaps 6-game losing streak

On Monday women’s lacrosse (3-6, 1-5 in the NESCAC) broke its six game losing streak with a 16-10 win over Endicott. Before that, the Ephs fell, 14-6, to the Jeffs (9-1, 5-1 in the NESCAC) at home.

Monday’s game began with four goals from the Ephs, scored by Tina Nawrocki ’10 and Alison Murray ’08 at two-apiece. Julia Nawrocki ’09 collected an assist on the first shot, and Sarah Adkins ’08 assisted the next three. Kellie Cunningham and Emily Judd scored the next two goals for the Gulls, but Murray replied for the Ephs with about 15 minutes left to play in the half.

Judd notched yet another goal to make the score 5-3, but Britt Spackman ’09, Whitney Kelly ’10, Alice Nelson ’10 and co-captain Sara duPont ’08 each scored before the half to increase the Ephs’ lead to 9-3. Williams outshot Endicott in the first half 19-12.

Judd opened the second period with a point for the Gulls, but duPont, Murray and Anne Marie Burke ’11 followed up with three more Eph goals. The Gulls scored six more goals in the second half but two more tallies from Murray – unassisted and assisted by Burke and Spackman respectively – advanced Williams’ lead to 15-10.
Whitney Thayer ’10 topped off the team’s victory with her goal scored in the final 16 seconds of the game.

Murray was the Ephs’ leading scorer, snagging an impressive seven points from as many shots on goal. The Ephs finished the game outshooting the Gulls 30-26 overall. Goaltender Julia Schreiber ’11 made 11 saves for the Ephs.

Head Coach Chris Mason anticipates that the victory will give the Ephs’ season a boost. “I feel our team competes hard at practice but needs to play in game situations,” Mason said. “Winning a game will give us a leg up for the rest of the season.”

The team also felt the positive and competitive vibes from the Endicott victory. “People realized that it was time to turn [the season] around,” co-captain Lauren Kennedy ’08 said. “We used that game to improve what we’ve worked on.”

The Jeffs started off with strong play last Saturday, netting two goals in the first five minutes of play. Spackman scored one for the Ephs, but Jeff Kelly Trapp netted a goal directly after. Julia Nawrocki followed up to put the score at 3-2.

Amherst, however, went on a run after that, scoring seven consecutive goals. Nelson interrupted their run at 22:23 in the second half with Tina Nawrocki collecting an assist, but the two rivals took the scoring back and forth until Nelson and Tina Nawrocki (assisted by duPont) made consecutive goals with less than fifteen minutes left in play, to close the Ephs deficit to six. The Ephs could not make up for lost time, however, and Kathleen Scheld and Liz Adamo took two more for the Jeffs in the final ten minutes. Despite the score, the Ephs displayed stronger shooting than the Jeffs, 27-25.

The Amherst game was the final loss in a tough slide for the women, but the rivalry held special difficulties. “Amherst is a great team regardless,” duPont said, “but there are big challenges against Amherst. You’re pretty nervous no matter what. I think we suffered from nerves.”

Mason noted the difference between the two games. “Amherst was a better team than Endicott, but Endicott gave us a really good challenge,” Mason said. “We played a more relaxed game [against Endicott]. The team really needs the game experience, and we’re happy we had so many games.”

Williams’ next game is tomorrow at home against Skidmore, before returning to conference play at Trinity on Saturday.

“With two non-conference games, there’s a little bit of pressure off,” Kennedy said. “We will hopefully continue to build confidence pre-Trinity.”