On Saturday afternoon at Samford Stadium, the University of Dallas Women’s Lacrosse team walked on the field for their first game of the season. Facing off with Huntingdon College, the team fought hard, but lost 1-13.
Towards the beginning, the Crusaders were able to hold off the Hawk’s strong attack, but Huntingdon’s Keirstin Cramer managed to score about four minutes into the game with a free position shot. During the first half, the Hawks’ attack was on fire, consistently scoring a goal at least every five minutes of the game. The Hawks’ Kailey Laudicina and Vanessa Maldonado led the offensive, as they both scored three points and had one assist. The first half of the game ended with a score of 0-10.
In the second half of the game, the Crusaders rushed the field with a new energy, determined to hold off the strong attacks showcased in the first half. UD’s defense strengthened its ranks, letting only three goals slip past during the second 30 minute half. With only 12 minutes left of the game, UD’s offensive junior Emily Pauletti pulled through with a goal from the free shot line, breaking Huntingdon’s shut out. The second half closed with a score of 1-13.
UD’s Elizabeth Winkler, a senior, goalie and team captain, commented on the game:
“[The] team ethos walking off the field was that even though we lost, we made a lot of progress as a team.”
The women’s lacrosse team has seen a lot of transition recently. This season welcomed a new head coach, Kaitlin Cochran, who has been playing lacrosse for nine years. In an interview, she said she has coached lacrosse at high school level, club level and at Life University in Marietta, Georgia, whose team is a part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Cochran has high hopes for the UD team, but she did admit there are weak points to it:
“[I have] 15 girls on my team [and] we play 12 at a time [on the field] so that could be a potential weakness—not having enough subs.”
Cochran also said many of these girls have never played the sport before, so they have come into a competitive climate without much experience. However disadvantageous that may be, she sees how that could be an opportunity:
“We have a lot of new players … a couple of them picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time ever three weeks ago, but if they continue to play … [I can] mold and shape them,” Cochran said. “There’s progress every day.”
Winkler mentioned some team strengths that she noticed during the game, including defense, transitions and communication across the field.
Cochran has high hopes for the team in the coming months.
“My goal really is to see them improve—from not even owning a lacrosse stick to picking up the most ground balls or putting a couple goals in the games,” Cochran said.
Come support the growing UD women’s lacrosse team at their next home game against Elmira College at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19.