Despite a rough start to the season with three consecutive losses against opponents at home and away, the St. Mary’s women’s lacrosse team seems to be showing signs of improvement in time for success in Spring 2010.
The Seahawks began the season with a 14-6 non-conference loss against Washington & Lee University during a home game on Feb. 27. While scoring first against the Generals with a free position shot by sophomore midfielder Lauren Bennett, the Generals competed with the Seahawks for a 3-3 standing before scoring six consecutive scores and five more to follow, interrupted by three scores from the College’s midfielder Lauriann Parker and attackers senior Nora Fallon-Oben and sophomore Melissa Mayer.
“The team has a completely different look from last year,” said Coach Kara Reber, now in her second season with the Seahawks. “I’m confident with the attack, but we just need to find the chemistry, what groups work together.” Before coaching for St. Mary’s, Reber recovered a seven-player team at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA., helping the Middle Atlantic Conference team reach the championship semifinals and finals before she headed to Maryland.
St. Mary’s was unable to recover from the season opener by Mar. 3, taking a non-conference, home game loss from Catholic University, 17-10. The Cardinals began their season-opener with a two-point lead, followed by ten conversions between both sides that led to an 11-minute scoring stall, interrupted by three goals from the Seahawks and three from the Cardinals before Catholic took a 15-7 lead following halftime scores from both sides. Three Seahawk scores and two from the Cardinals finished the game.
The Seahawks’ initial season slumps for baseball, men’s lacrosse, and women’s lacrosse, all outdoor teams, are most likely due to the conditions of the playing fields following the snowstorm that swept St. Mary’s in early Feb. While the waterlogged lacrosse field is beginning to recover for outside practice, the Hawk’s Nest is still virtually unplayable, forcing the teams to practice indoors and off-field.
“Today’s practice is the fifth time we’ve been outside all year,” said Reber, referring to a practice on Mar. 2.
“Without turf on the field,” said first-year offensive midfielder Erin Schackelford, “we haven’t really been outside.”
Despite the home-field disadvantage, the Seahawks are beginning to recover from the losing streak. While taking an away-game, non-conference loss from McDaniel College on Mar. 6, the College took a strong 6-2 lead against the undefeated Green Terror following two scores by Oben. Following a five-score advantage from McDaniel, St. Mary’s recovered with two consecutive goals before McDaniel took a two-point advantage for an ending score of 12-10.
“It will be a hard fight, but a doable one,” said senior defender Alex Bertrand. “I’m very excited about it, but we’ll need to work out some kinks.”
The women’s lacrosse team next plays against the University of Mary-Washington at 4 p.m. on Mar. 9 for home-game action, and the first conference match for the Seahawks, followed by a non-conference home game against the College of New Jersey on Mar. 12.