Outscored by a 145-87 margin, the Linfield women’s lacrosse team sputtered to a 1-7 overall record during Tim Hart’s fourth season as coach.
The Wildcats netted 10.88 goals per match, the fourth-highest single-season average in program history. Linfield benefited from balanced scoring by four individuals, but a young and developing defense had difficulty containing the opposition’s scoring.
“We definitely grew as a team,” said Hart. “We had one of our better offensive seasons and our defense got stronger as the season went along. It was great to see the growth we made as a team with our younger players stepping up and performing well.”
Mariah Jones led Linfield in scoring for the second straight season, planting 21 goals to go along with 14 assists. Senior co-captain Taylor Fisher provided 18 goals and set up another 17 scores. Newcomer Zooey Spring tallied 17 goals and three assists while Brittani Drost contributed a dozen goals.
Fisher, Jones and Spring all enjoyed “strong seasons,” according to Hart.
Jones and Spring each powered in five goals to carry the ‘Cats to the lone victory of the season, a 21-10 romp over Fontbonne in St. Louis, Mo.
Halee Helgerson, Erika Helm-Buckman and Chas Tittle anchored the midfield. Helgerson, a freshman, “really developed into a solid all-around player,” said Hart. Helgerson contributed four goals, 10 ground balls and six caused turnovers.
Defensively, Linfield forced 121 turnovers, including a team-high nine caused turnovers by Megan Kearns. Veteran Lisa Eckstrom combined with first-year players Kearns and Tessa D’Allessandro on the back line.
Playing every minute of every match in goal, Linfield netminder Tori Kraft faced 284 shots, stopping 85.
“Tori fought hard in goal all season,” said Hart. “She worked extremely hard to make herself a better player.”
Combined, the Wildcats allowed an average of 18.26 goals per match. With the offense unable to keep pace on a regular basis, the Wildcats found themselves on the losing side of the ledger more often that not.
At season’s end, the Wildcats bid so long to captains Fisher and Helm-Buckman, the team’s lone graduating seniors. A total of 20 players participated in lacrosse during 2012.