Women’s lacrosse thrashes MIT, tops Bates

Women’s lacrosse (2-1, 1-1 in the NESCAC) enjoyed two impressive wins this past week, topping Bates (2-2, 0-2) 13-9 on Saturday and MIT (1-2) 17-6 on Thursday. Coming off a close loss to Colby the week before, the Ephs are now back on track for a successful season.

Upon its arrival in Maine on Saturday, the team found a worthy adversary in its NESCAC rival. Bates made 19 shots on goal compared to Williams’ 12 in the first half, with the Bobcats hustling to convert offensive efforts into scoring. The Bobcats also picked up an impressive 14 ground balls in the first, but the Ephs’ defense was able to kick in and keep the score tied at 5-5 by halftime.

Co-captain Elizabeth Burns ’09 spoke to the team’s strategy for the remainder of the game. “We knew that Bates was not a team that would lay down easily; we knew that we would have to play even harder in the second 25 minutes to beat them,” she said.

Indeed, the Ephs increased their focus in the second half and applied their skills to come out ahead. Successful offensive plays turned the tides in terms of shots on goal and ground balls whereas in the first half, Williams lagged in both areas. In the second half, however, the Ephs made seven more goal attempts and picked up four more balls than their opponents. The team outscored Bates by a margin of four points in this decisive half to earn a respectable 13-9 win.

A particularly impressive element of the game was the Ephs’ wide field of scorers. Margie Fulton ’12 racked up three goals, but Britt Spackman ’09, Tina Nawrocki ’10, Tracey Ferriter ’10, Whitney Thayer ’10, co-captain Julia Nawrocki ’09, Kaitlin Ellis ’12 and Anne Marie Burke ’11 also scored for the Ephs.

“I found it really impressive that our team showed no lapse and pulled out a solid and decisive win,” Burns said. “I think that our team’s determination and competitive nature really shined on Saturday.”
Perhaps another ingredient that helped propel the team to a win on Saturday was the momentum from Thursday’s dominant 17-6 triumph over the Engineers. The Ephs opened the home game with force, attacking MIT’s net with determination. The Engineers made their most fruitful effort in the last 10 minutes of the first half, during which they scored two goals, but those points still left them far behind. The women more than doubled the Engineers’ shots on goal, and completely left them in the dust with a 10-3 score at halftime. Spackman, Tina Nawrocki, Julia Nawrocki and Taylor Fleishhacker ’12 all proved instrumental in the offensive plays.

A yellow card forced the Ephs to open the second half with one fewer player on the field, but the disadvantage hardly slowed down the team. Though MIT scored back-to-back goals during that time, the Ephs rallied to prevent any real chance for their opponents to comeback. The women continued to outshoot the Engineers, but the team’s defense also made notable contributions. Indeed, MIT was only able to attack the net 10 times, and goalie Julie Schreiber ’11 expertly guarded the goal to keep the visiting team to three points. By the end of the game, Spackman, Tina Nawrocki, Julia Nawrocki, Thayer and Fleishhacker each put three points on the scoreboard.

“It was great to get our first win of the season against MIT,” Julia Nawrocki said. “It was a good win to have under our belts before we played Bates. We had a taste of what it is to win, and I think that made us even more hungry to win against Bates.”

The team played RPI at home last night, but the results came in too late to report. The Ephs will face their next challenge when they travel to Boston on Saturday to play Tufts. The Jumbos are currently undefeated both overall and in the NESCAC, and so the contest will certainly put the Ephs’ talent to test.