Meghan Falconer, Contributing Writer
The women’s lacrosse team broke into its season with a 12-9 win over the Hendrix College Warriors on Sunday, Feb. 9. Freshman attacker/midfielder Jessie Koster scored the first goal, followed quickly by a goal from sophomore Hayley Rodgers. The Warriors also scored twice and picked up some momentum before the end of the first quarter, but the Crusaders quickly responded. The score was 6-5 with the Crusaders ahead at the end of the first half.
The second half was much like the first, and the Crusaders stayed ahead throughout. Their lead was due to superior communication, speed and ball control. The defensive team (junior Anne Belton, sophomore Shea Mahoney and freshman Mary Frelk and Mary White) was able to slow down all opposing drives to the goal by playing a war of attrition: forcing its opponents to make bad shots and passes, which resulted in turnovers.
Midfielders, junior Mary Hilker and freshman Jessie Koster, were instrumental on defense as well; Hilker recovered seven ground balls and Koster recovered nine, setting a new school record with six caused turnovers.
As a team, the Warriors were much more successful at recovering ground balls, with every member getting at least one and many getting three or more. However, through pressuring transitions, smart checking and backing from the nine excellent saves by junior goalie Christine Jablonsky, the University of Dallas was quickly able to win back possession and secure the win. Seven of UD’s 12 total goals came from Koster, two from Hilker, and one each from Rodgers, freshman Mary Davern (who also had 2 assists) and junior Meghan Falconer.
Despite the early hour and the cold, damp weather, the game was well attended; classmates and local families were able to witness the team’s first game and victory.
Many fans may not have realized how young and new the team is — nearly half of its members are freshmen and five of them never touched a lacrosse stick before the beginning of the season, a fact that made the victory even more exciting.
“I am so proud about how the new girls were able to make adjustments and play confidently so quickly. I’m excited about what we are capable of!,” said defenseman Shea Mahoney.
Hilker felt that, despite their inexperience, “the new girls who have never played really stepped it up. They put 100 percent into Sunday’s game and I couldn’t be prouder!”