Single win motivates lacrosse team
For the Review
After losing the season’s leading scorer sophomore Jamie Mertz to a severe injury in a close game against Pacific University, the Linfield lacrosse team has struggled through a stretch of home games.
While the team only won one of the five games, the ’Cats gave 100 percent and are planning on turning the season around, returning junior defender Michelle Dorris said.
“We made a lot of small mistakes that made one huge one,” junior attacker Samantha Smith said.
These small errors resulted in several close losses for the team.
On March 27, Linfield played a highly competitive game against State University of New York, Oswego.
“We never gave up,” Dorris said. “In the last game against SUNY-Oswego, we were down 11-2 at halftime, but we didn’t quit; we outscored them 8-7 in the second half. I think that goes to show the kind of motivation and determination our team has.”
The day before, Oberlin College beat Linfield, 15-9, after a 9-9 standoff for the ’Cats second loss in as many days.
On March 25, despite a lead at intermission, SUNY-Potsdam defeated the Wildcats, 17-11.
The women took their first win of the season March 21 against the University of Dallas in a crushing 15-4 victory.
Fontbonne University was able to secure a close victory over Linfield March 20 in a 15-14 game.
The ’Cats have had a difficult schedule this year as this is the first time they are playing every NCAA Division III team.
This stretch of games, in particular, was a unique challenge as they played two teams from New York along with two teams from Ohio.
Eight-year head coach Bill Hander said East Coast and Midwest teams are considerably more competitive than Northwest teams.
“It is an opportunity to play the level of lacrosse that will one day get us into postseason play and that has been my goal from the start,” Hander said.
This weekend the team will be traveling to Missouri for three back-to-back games.
On April 4, they will go up against powerful opponent Lindenwood University.
The next day they’ll play Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis; and on April 6 the Wildcats will have a chance to avenge the one-point loss to Fontbonne in a rematch.
Without any seniors and only six returning starters, these games will help the team grow together.