Personal successes and awards: the driving forces behind women’s lacrosse

Sophomore midfielder Erika Keever drives up the field during the Crusaders’ win against Carroll University. University of Dallas Photo.

The past few weeks have been eventful for the University of Dallas women’s lacrosse team. After beginning the season with a 0-4 record, the team earned their first win of the season against Millsaps College on March 4.

Freshman goalie Lizz Winkler was named Independent Women’s Lacrosse School’s (IWLS) Defensive Player of the Week. Winkler is the first in the UD women’s program to be honored with the award. During the game, Winkler saved 15 shots and had a 68.2 save percentage.

“When I first found out, I was surprised that I got the award,” Winkler said. “It feels really good knowing that my hard work is being noticed. Having that recognition pushes me to keep working harder and do well for my team. As the starting goalie, there is a lot of pressure to do well, especially being a freshman at the same time. It’s encouraging to know that the team trusts me, and it makes me want to be more successful.”

Hoping for more success in the next week, the team focused on skills strengthening and perfecting offensive plays.

After their first home win, unfortunately the Crusaders suffered two losses at home, losing 11-19 against University of Northwestern and 4-16 against Beloit College. The losses were a bit of a setback for the team but the girls looked forward to their games over spring break in hopes of finding redemption.

The team traveled to Arkansas to play Hendrix College on March 13. Despite a 4-15 loss, attacker Lexi Leite achieved her 50th career goal during the game. Leite has scored in all but one of the team’s games so far and looks to continue having a personally successful season.

On March 16, the Crusaders were able to claim their second win of the season against Carroll University with a final score of 21-13. Sophomores Leite, Erika Keever and Frances Davis had a combined 12 goals, while junior captain Julia Shinkle scored six and senior captain Gwen Mohler scored two.

First-year player Darya Gerami also scored her first career goal during the first half of the game.

“It was a really exciting moment for me and I was so glad that I could help my team win the game,” Gerami said. “There are still four games left and I would like to score more goals before my first season is over.”

With a new 2-7 record, the team hoped to win again against the University of Puget Sound. The Crusaders fell short, however, in an 8-14 loss against the Washington team.

Despite the loss, there were some bright moments during the game. Keever scored a hat trick during the game and Leite continued her scoring streak.

The Crusaders have four more games after their senior game against Pacific University, which they dropped 2-18. The team will travel to Colorado for their next two games against Benedictine College and Johnson and Wales University.

“We want to keep the intensity that we bring in the beginning throughout the whole game,” Winkler said. “We want to enjoy the last part of our season and try our best to win the rest of our away games.”



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