This past weekend, the Lady Crusaders lacrosse team split their two games against University of Northwestern and Augsburg College on April 16 and 17, respectively, concluding their season with a 4 – 8 record over the last four years. The team has cycled through 45 different players, making it difficult to find consistency when it was most needed.
Senior Hayley Rodgers has been one of the only constants for the team during the last four years. Rodgers scored 73 goals in 51 games in her four-year career at the University of Dallas, lettering every year.
“To play lacrosse here has been extremely challenging physically and emotionally,” Rodgers said. “But I loved every minute of it.”
Rodgers has been an integral member of the team and is looking forward to seeing how the team will continue to perform after she moves on.
“Being a captain has taught me many things, and I have gotten to see a program grow and helped make that happen,” Rodgers said. “It’s extremely rewarding.”
As it is her last year playing the sport, Rodgers has mixed feelings about walking away from a sport she has come to cherish so much.
“Lacrosse has been in my life for eight years, and it is sad to know that I won’t be playing competitively anymore,” Rodgers said. “But my feelings are probably the same as all senior athletes. Playing a sport is the most rewarding thing you can do. It not only shapes you as a person, but you build lasting relationships with a community. I was honored to have the chance to do it, and I look forward to seeing my team a year from now.”
While Rodgers’ presence and senior leadership will certainly be missed next year, the Crusaders have a bright future ahead of them. Coach Lauren Martin has plans to help build the team and provide it with a solid foundation for future players. Martin believes that the team has finally found a solid group of young talent on which to build upon for years to come.
“If these girls stay, we will have a real chance for great improvement in the near future,” Martin said.
These girls have the talent, but need more time together to improve team cohesion and get a feel for what college lacrosse is like. With a solid core of young players in development, this seems like a likely possibility for the team in the near future.