Lacrosse earns 10th place ranking in the Midwest

Courtesy of Calie Nowak

Cassidy Jackson, staff writer

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The women’s lacrosse team has kicked off the season on the right foot with a current record of 8-2, according to Coach Annie Lesch. So far, the team has beaten Highland Park, Lyons Township, Pope John Paul II, Groton, Stevenson, and Oak Park River Forest.

However, the team lost against the third best team in the nation, St. Stephens and St. Agnes in Virginia. They also fell to Hinsdale Central which is ranked third in the state. Despite the losses, Lesch believes the team is off to a good start.

Senior attacker Carly Weinman agrees with Lesch on the solid start the team has so far considering their circumstances.

“[Our season] is going really well,” Weinman said. “We’re dealing with a lot more this season, we are missing one of our key players [Noreen Anderson] due to injury and that kinda put us back. We are working around different difficulties to be the strongest team.”

According to senior attacker Calie Nowak, Highland Park was an easy win for the girl’s with an end score of 15-0, while the win against Lyons Township on March 20 was a long awaited victory.

“[It] was a big game for us because we lost to [Lyon’s Township] my sophomore season by one goal, and they forfeited against us last year, but this year we beat them 13-11,” Nowak said.

According to Nowak, Lyons Township was a mentally difficult match for her and the team.

“We were up 13-11 and went into a stall [where players slow the ball down, spread out and wait for the defense to come in order to eat away time],” Nowak said. “I had the ball, and a double team came towards me, and I freaked out and threw a bad pass. I think that working on mental game will help.”

Lyons Township wasn’t the only tough competition, during spring break the team went to Florida to play three tough matches. These three games were against St. Stephens and Agnes, Pope John Paul II and Groton.

“St. Stephens and Agnes for sure [was the toughest team],” Weinman said. “It was 17-3, so we scored three goals on them which was really good, and we were all really proud. The coaches were proud of [us]. We gave it all we got.”

Leaving Florida, not only did the team bring home two wins against Groton and Pope John, they also created a huge bond during the trip.

“I think that us going to Florida so early in our season was huge for our team bonding,” senior defender Kara Stevens said. “One of the nights we had a talent show and every room had to do something. The talents were funny, one of them did a Poms reenactment and another reenacted our coaches. Our team bonding that night was really nice.”

Shortly after returning from Florida, the women had matches set back to back. Recently, the team defeated Oak Park River Forest 15-4 and Stevenson 17-2.

“Oak Park is always a harder game for us, they are fast and they never give up,” Nowak said. “Yet this year we worked harder and did better than them, and it showed in the score. Stevenson is a newer team, so the girls in that area probably haven’t played lacrosse as long as us. We were able to capitalize on their mistakes.”

Senior midfielder Kelly Ward believes Oak Park was the team’s biggest victorious match.

“Oak Park [was our most successful game] because they always give us such a hard time,” Ward said. “This year we were able to come out super strong against them and we dominated them.”

With that win came a loss to Hinsdale Central, 7-17. Senior midfielder Kelly Ward believes the main cause of the team’s loss was its inability to adjust to the skilled team.

“Hinsdale was a more skilled team than we’ve seen,” Ward said. “So it was hard to adjust to that. We did a good job in the very beginning, but we just lost it a little in the end. Sometimes we would drop passes that we would normally catch.”

On the other hand, Nowak felt the mental state of the players walking into the game and the team’s struggle with draw controls caused their loss against Hinsdale Central.

“We lost to Hinsdale Central, our main fault was that we couldn’t get the draw controls, and that’s what begins the game,”Nowak said. “So if you don’t have the ball you can’t win the game. [Also] we have not gone to state in the past four years, and Hinsdale has gone to state. So, we mentally thought that they were gonna be better than us. So, we thought we were gonna lose but I believe our skill is at the same level.”

Despite the Hinsdale Central loss, Nowak feels there is a positive to that defeat and she hopes it will motivate the team to work harder and improve certain aspects of their game the remainder of the season.

“The score of the Hinsdale game doesn’t really reflect how we played,” Nowak said. “It really serves as a wake up call because we’ve played so many teams and beaten them by so many goals, and then we go against Hinsdale and lose by 10 goals. […]It will make us work harder in practice and help us focus on what we need to work on.”

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