VC women’s lacrosse is currently split even in its standings. The women have an overall record of 4-4 since starting their season with an opener on March 15 in Bradenton, Fla. where they trounced Keene State 16-10 in the Spring Fling Lacrosse Tournament. This came after the Liberty League preseason coaches’ poll was released, slating the Brewers for fourth place. Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute was picked for first, clocking in with 76 points, Union College a close second at 71 and William Smith College was placed third with 69 points. Vassar was allotted 54 points to clinch their spot in fourth.
VC women’s lacrosse had a solid 2014 season, coming out of the spring with an 11-5 record and making it all the way to the semifinals of the Liberty League Championships, where they fell to RPI.
So far this season, the women have played in eight contests, splitting wins and losses evenly. Starting on March 11, the women played a formidable Farleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus Team at Marist College and fell 6-12. During their trip to Florida after their victory over Keene State, the Brewers saw Stevenson University and took a close loss by a margin of 7-9. Still in Bradenton, the women played Western Connecticut State, taking a win with a score of 20-12. Then in late March, the Brewers saw Union College and William Smith College at home on Weinberg field, losing 9-11 and winning 9-8 respectively. The women then saw RPI in Troy, N.Y., where they won 11-8 and in the same weekend they lost 6-11 to Skidmore in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Next on their schedule is RPI on April 10th, to be played in Rochester, N.Y.
The Brewers have a lot of lofty goals for the 2015 season. Senior Leigh Baldwin has plans for 2015 on a personal and team level, “My goal is to make a positive impact every time I step on the field, and to push my teammates to reach their full potential. As a team, we are aiming to take home a Liberty League championship this season, and hoping to host playoffs on our home turf as the #1 seat.” The same goes for senior Kate Pula who said, “My goal is to consistently play at the highest level for every game. For the team we want to keep improving throughout the season as a team and go all the way to the league championship.” Senior captain Katherine Stegmann has very specific ideas about how her final season as a Brewer will play out. “Our main goals for the season are to beat RPI, get to the playoffs and face Union once again. We lost to them in the last seconds of overtime in a game we worked really hard for, so we’d love to match up against them again and get a [little] revenge. (And we beat RPI yesterday for the first time in their first league loss in many years so that’s goal one accomplished!)” she said. And more broad and outcome focused is Dara Davis, another senior captain, who said, “Our main goal is to win the Liberty League championship.”
In order to achieve these wide-reaching goals, each player has a specific course of action. Baldwin believes in the team’s ability to work hard, “We will achieve these goals by bringing a determined work ethic to every practice, and by playing with heart and hustle against even our toughest opponents. We will also need to improve and adapt our style of play to each team we face as the season moves on, in order to capitalize on their weaknesses and strengthen our own.” Pula believes the key to success is through mental training. “Personally getting psyched for every game and patiently focusing during the games. As a team we have the skills and potential there and every game we keeping improving. The key is to never limit ourselves and always see room for improvement.”
Some concerns have arisen, however, about the team’s confidence, which could get in the way of a Liberty League title. Said Pula, “Our weaknesses is not always having confidence in our abilities.” There is consensus across the board as Baldwin put it, “We lack confidence at times, which interferes with our ability to play to our fullest potential.” Stegmann has observed the same phenomenon, saying “Our greatest weakness as a team is our mental game. Sometimes we get caught in our heads when we play which can affect our confidence on the field but as the season moves on and we build more momentum that will definitely wane.”
Another obstacle the Brewers are facing this season is injury. “Our biggest obstacle to overcome is the large number of injuries we’re experiencing. Two of our lead scorers are out with concussions at the moment (Izzy Goldstein and my fellow captain Dara Davis), while a lot of our other girls have nagging injuries that hopefully don’t manifest into serious issues. But despite this bad luck our team has absolutely stepped up to the challenge and continues to do amazing things out there on the field as they did against William Smith and RPI,” Stegmann observed.
But, at the end of the day, the ladies still have their eyes locked on the Liberty League title. Said Stegmann, “I’m so excited to make a playoff run this year. Our seniors have worked relentlessly for 4 years alongside each other at this school and we’re ready to make our third playoff appearance the best one yet.” And that is the sentiment across the board: they have to win, but moreover, they have to win for each other. Davis claimed, “We are an unbelievably close team and they will be my friends throughout my life.”