Women’s lax tramples Wesleyan

Women’s lacrosse (8-4, 4-4 in the NESCAC) enjoyed double victories this week over Skidmore (6-5) on Wednesday and Wesleyan (5-8, 2-6) on Saturday. The 17-9 win over the Cardinals at home was the team’s first NESCAC win since the women beat Conn. College on April 1.

Wesleyan was able to put an early lead on the scoreboard in the first. Cardinal Charlotte Hastings netted the first goal of the game at 3:15, and teammate Laurel Sticklor scored just over two minutes later. In an action-packed span of a minute, Tina Nawrocki ’10 scored the first goal for Williams, with Wesleyan responding right after to bring the score to 3-1. The opening of the game was fierce indeed as both teams fought to approach the goal; the only penalty of the game occurred at 1:09, when co-captain Julia Nawrocki ’09 earned a yellow card.

As the half wore on, Wesleyan scored again at 10:26. Margie Fulton ’12 led an impressive offensive response – she scored the Ephs’ next two goals, the first off an assist from Julia Nawrocki. Although Wesleyan’s Maggie Lile scored her second goal of the game at 11:50 remaining, the last 10 minutes of the half saw Williams rebound to claim a one-point lead. On a free position shot, co-captain Britt Spackman ’09 scored at 7:35 remaining. Tracey Ferriter ’10 assisted Spackman’s second goal and then scored one of her own to bring the game to 6-5 in the Ephs’ favor.

The Cardinals took 18 shots in the first period while the Ephs took 17. Goalie Julia Schreiber ’11 made eight saves, five more than Wesleyan’s goalie managed.

In the second half, the Ephs stepped up their game to leave the Cardinals far behind. Williams opened the half by scoring three consecutive goals, the first of which came from an unassisted Fulton at 4:41. Though Hastings took a free position shot to score at 7:46, Fulton scored less than a minute later, representative of the Ephs’ offensive determination in the second half. Julia Nawrocki, Whitney Thayer ’10, Spackman and Tina Nawrocki also scored in the second half. The Cardinals fell further and further behind throughout this last portion of the game, scoring only four goals to the Ephs’ 11. And so after turning the momentum around towards the end of the first half, the team never looked back in the second. Williams doubled Wesleyan’s number of shots on goal in the latter 30 minutes of the game, indicative of the team’s aggressive strategy.

The team’s win came on the heels of a 16-5 blowout against Skidmore three days before. Williams dominated the non-conference opponent throughout both halves. Though Skidmore scored within the first minute of the game, Williams went on to demonstrate its offensive potential and brought the game to 10-2 by the end of the first half. The second half was somewhat more competitive, with Williams scoring six goals and Skidmore scoring three, but the Ephs were still able to ride to an easy victory. Fulton, Thayer and Tina Nawrocki led the scoring with three goals each.

Co-captain Elizabeth Burns ’09 spoke to the team’s potential. “If we can get ourselves to come out very strong and play the whole game with full intensity, I … think that we [can be] the best team in the NESCAC,” she said. “I am excited to see how we do in the conference tournament.”

The women also played at Springfield last night, but the results came in too late for reporting. The team will next play against Redlands at home at 7 p.m. tonight before going on to challenge Middlebury (6-2, 7-4) on Friday afternoon at home. The Ephs’ game against the Panthers is the last scheduled regular game of the season. The Panthers currently rank third in the NESCAC, while the Ephs stand two spots behind in the No. 5 spot.