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March 10, 2009 11:00 am

Women’s Lacrosse Starts Off Strong, Second in CAC

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Sophomore Aubrey Mirkin has caused five turnovers. (Photos by Matt Molek)

Sophomore Aubrey Mirkin has caused five turnovers. (Photos by Matt Molek)

Coach Kara Reber and the 2009 women’s lacrosse team seemed to get off to a rough start against Washington and Lee on Feb. 21.  Suffering a significant 17-6 loss, the team used the game as a chance to figure out their strengths and weaknesses and get in gear to garner another successful season.  “We came out against W&L unprepared and a bit unsure of ourselves, and it showed on the field. The one good thing that came from that game was that we all knew we could do better,” said senior midfielder Allie Zerhusen.

Following their season-opener, however, it seems that the team has gotten their groove back.  On Feb. 24, they overtook Wesley in Seahawk Stadium with a substantial 24-7 victory, their first conference match and win.  Junior defender Karisa Carroll said, “After watching game film, and practicing on the things we needed to work on, Wesley came much easier.  We got to work out the kinks from the previous game, and everything looked a lot cleaner.”

Zerhusen said that the cohesive quality of the team is a great factor in the team’s potential for success.  “We are a fun group of girls and keeping the mood light is definitely something that aided our success last year. We have fun but we love lacrosse, and there is no better feeling than beating a team higher in the polls than you are.”

And they certainly looked like they were back in business against then-No.15 Dickinson College on February 28th.  The Seahawks notched a huge 10-5 win over the Red Devils who beat them by eight last year.  Senior midfielder Lauren Carrier commented on her team’s big win, giving the credit to the defense, particularly freshman goalie Colleen Simpson.  “The defense only allowed 5 goals to a team who was raved about in the US Lacrosse Magazine to be the next big team.  I think the win gave us some confidence that we need for upcoming games,” said Carrier.  Carroll added, “I think we really started to gel, and Dickinson is a huge win for our ranking, and for NCAA’s.”

The win was so significant for their ranking that on March 4th, the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association announced that the Seahawks jumped up three spots in their weekly poll.  Coach Kara Reber and her squad moved from No. 18 to No. 15, while Dickinson fell to the No. 17 spot.

The match was also a milestone for another impressive reason.  Carrier’s hat trick performance against Dickinson marked her 45th consecutive game in which she scored a goal.  This ties the NCAA Division III record for the number of consecutive games with at least one goal, a streak she has maintained since her freshman year.  Carrier was also named Player-of-the-Week by both CAC Lacrosse and Inside Lacrosse for the week that ended on March 1.

As their season really gets rolling, the team has the bar set high by last year’s great success and first-ever NCAA appearance.  Carroll said, “I definitely want to return to the NCAA tournament, and I definitely think there is no reason we shouldn’t.  We have so much talent, and I think it’s important that we play to our potential every game—and be consistent.”

It seems as though the women’s lacrosse team is aware of the tools they need to utilize to achieve their goals for a CAC championship and another NCAA bid.  “We need to play as a team and be confident to be as successful as last season.  We will have to keep working hard physically and focus all the time in order to do so,” said sophomore midfielder Aubrey Mirkin.  The team has the potential to do more great things this year and it seems as though they are ready to make things happen.  Zerhusen said, “I think we can really make a name for St. Mary’s lacrosse with this team this year, and I look forward contending with the top teams.”

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