-photo by Jordan Jacobo/Review staff writer/photographer
Wildcat lacrosse ended their rebuilding season with two losses against the University of Puget Sound and the University of Redlands this week, but motivation remains for improvement next year.
After a hard loss April 12 against rival UPS at home, Linfield traveled to Tacoma, Wash., where despite stormy weather, it was able to put up a fight and take the lead 8-7, at intermission.
“Overall, the first half we came out very strong,” sophomore defender Tracy Maruyama said. “We were playing smart.”
Junior goalkeeper Becca Levy, who had 13 saves in the game, agreed. She said the team put out 100 percent effort, helping it answer the Loggers’ offensive line.
“We had good transition through the midfield,” she said. “That’s been true all year.”
These passes allowed junior attacker Sammy Smith to score five goals against UPS. Freshmen attackers Melissa DePierro and Tarie Couette also had successful games, scoring three and two points, respectively.
“Melissa and Tarie were fearless, driving in and going to the goal,” Levy said.
The ‘Cats were unable to keep this edge, and suffered nine unanswered points in the second half.
Freshman attacker Sofia Lama was the game’s high scorer, bringing in eight points for UPS. Juniors Lindsay O’Brian and Lindsay Pearce also scored multiple times, helping UPS pull away with an 18-11 lead that sealed the win.
“We never really understand where our momentum changes,” Maruyama said. “We have a great team; we just let our emotions get the best of us.”
April 23’s home game against University of Redlands ended with similar results, rounding off the Wildcats’ season with a 17-9 defeat.
“It was the best game we’ve ever played,” Maruyama said. “They had a couple go-to girls who were quick and smart with the ball. We had some mistakes and they played off them.”
In what team members described as a particularly rough game, five members of the Redlands team received yellow cards.
“We had girls that took the initiative of driving the ball to the goal,” she said.
Smith was once again the high scorer for the Wildcats, putting four balls in the Bulldogs’ net. Caouette followed closely with three goals and an assist.
Linfield is unable to keep up with the Bulldogs, who hold a 6-5 record with six matches left to play.
Freshman attacker Christy Smith made five unassisted goals for Redlands, aided by sophomore Anna Moriarty and junior Lauren Matta, who each scored three times.
Once Redlands gained an 8-2 advantage over Linfield at half time, the Wildcats could not recover.
Linfield, which lost several of its players to injuries throughout the season, finished with a 3-11 record.
Team members said despite these numbers, they were able to see progression in the team’s ability and are looking forward to overall improvement next year.
“This season we played more as a team,” Levy said. “We worked through our injuries and managed to come through as a team.”
As no seniors will be graduating this spring, the team expects to carry the lessons of this season into 2009.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Smith said.