In their second year as an official varsity sport, women’s lacrosse is already well on their way to becoming one of K’s larger athletic success stories.
For many teams the first few seasons against established and older competition can be very taxing. This will lead to a lot of losses and frustration among the players and coaches. However, the women’s lacrosse team here at K is already showing massive improvement in only their second official season.
In their first season the women went two and six in MIAA play, putting them in seventh place at the end of the season. This season, they currently sit in a tie for third place with a chance to become solo third with a win at home Wednesday against Albion. A lot of this quick success has come from the development and growth of the individual players themselves and from the overall growth as a team.
“We’ve grown a lot in actual lax [lacrosse] skills, but we’ve also grown mentally,” says Coach Emilia Ward. This mental growth was shown most recently in K’s game against Hope on Saturday. Coach Ward described the game as going in runs; it was 3-1 at halftime in favor of Hope before they came out on a 7-0 run after halftime. K then made a comeback run by scoring six straight goals, however it wasn’t enough as they fell to Hope 13-8. “Our team last year may not have been able to come back like we did this weekend,” says Coach Ward. Despite the loss, Coach Ward still sees the mental growth as a great sign going forward.
Some additional growth shown by this year’s team is the more prolific scoring they have shown early in the season. Last year all season long they averaged 9.4 goals per game while this year through only nine games they are averaging 10.1 goals per game. Another improvement from last season is freshmen goalkeeper Katie Johnson ’18. She has been a three time MIAA Defensive Player of the Week.
With this gradual growth the team has also raised their expectations for this season. “This year we expect to finish in the top four and play in the conference tournament,” says Coach Ward. One step towards this will be the conference game against Albion Wednesday. Women’s lacrosse is one of the sports at K that generally draws a large crowd, Coach Ward hopes that trend continues this week. She says, “Having a huge home student crowd really helps, our girls feed off their energy.”