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Despite loss W. Lax aims for conference wins

by Panagiotis Argitis
Tue, Mar 27th 2018 09:00 pm
Head coach Stephen Wagner (above) directs the Brockport women's lacrosse team with tactics during halftime.The team is on a five game losing streak,but those losses have come from superior opposition.Brockport's first SUNYAC game is against Oswego.
Head coach Stephen Wagner (above) directs the Brockport women's lacrosse team with tactics during halftime.The team is on a five game losing streak,but those losses have come from superior opposition.Brockport's first SUNYAC game is against Oswego.

The women’s lacrosse team has had a rough start to its season, losing all of its first five games to their highly ranked opponents.

On March 16, the team lost a close match 10-13 against num- ber five ranked Salisbury University. Junior midfielder Hannah Cullen ended the game with three goals, followed by senior at- tacker Taylor Thomas with two goals to lead the offense. Senior goalkeepers Sara Shaddock and Sarah Brown split the game in net and collectively earned 10 saves.

March 24 saw the Golden Eagles suffering their worst loss in over a decade to number six ranked The College of New Jersey. The team was shutout 0-16, with Brown playing the full game in net and earning 14 saves.

The team didn’t fail to bounce back, though, and March 25 saw a much closer loss by 12-14 at the hands of Montclair State. In both halves, the Red Hawks outscored Brockport by a single point to earn the victory. Junior midfielder Hannah Conklin ended the game with five points, outscoring the highest scorer from Montclair State by one point. Senior midfielder Andrea Zlinsky added two points, while Thomas, junior midfielder Jade Williams, senior attacker Samantha Dooling, junior attacker Sara Grapevine and junior midfielder Jillian Babinsky each added one point as well.

While the loss streak would appear to point at a season of loss, it’s not over yet for the women’s lacrosse team. The schedule for the year was specifically designed to include tough matches early on in order for the athlets to grow as a team and individuals. The team sees these challenges as such.

“Each time we face a good team it is an opportunity for us to grow and improve,” Thomas said. “That was the reason for putting these teams on our schedule, because if we can compete with some of the best teams in the country, we can compete with anyone. Although we have struggled to come out with a win, we haven’t let our confidence get down and we continue to fight ev- ery day, which is what’s important.”

Grapevine reiterated the benefits of competing against tough schools, as well as noting that matches like the ones they play help the team figure out its “strengths and weaknesses.”Growth and partnership are important for a team like women’s lacrosse, where athletes face the challenge of a loss of seniors and the addition of multiple freshmen and transfers, Grapevine herself is a transfer.

“I transferred into Brockport and this team has been very ac- cepting of me and my role on the team ...” Grapevine said. “I just try to go out and do my best for this team because I know they would do the same for me.”

All eight of the seniors on the team are returning players. These players are responsible for being the leaders on the team, and helping to incorporate all of the new players into the team dynamic, something very important to the Golden Eagles.

“When I was a freshman, I was constantly looking up to theupperclassmen and they showed me that Brockport women’s la- crosse is all about working for the person next to you and putting the needs of the team before the needs of yourself and I hope that is something that I can pass down to the people looking up to me,” Thomas said.

After its game against St. John Fisher on March 28, the team will play five SUNYAC matches in a row, starting with an away matchup against Oswego on March 31. This, perhaps, is where the team will really start to shine.

“Everything that we work for each day leads up to this mo- ment...” Grapevine said. “We know how important these games are, so we are mentally making making the switch to start finishing games and focusing on the bigger picture of where we need to be by the end of the season.”

This picture, as the team hopes, will show a Golden Eagle conference title.

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