Coming off of a three-game winning streak that featured victories against Wellesley, Skidmore, and St. Joseph’s, the women’s lacrosse team began its run of seven straight NESCAC matches to close out their regular season schedule. The three consecutive wins brought the team’s overall record to 5-3, but their 0-3 record in conference play left the team with an uphill climb the rest of the way.
The Cardinals’ first contest of the extended NESCAC stretch came on Saturday, March 29 at home against a Colby team ranked 12th nationally in Division III. Though they trailed the entire game, the Cardinals hung around and competed with the very talented Mules.
After an early Colby goal two minutes in to open up the scoring, the Cardinals’ Abby Wheeler ’17 tied the game up at 1-1 with her eighth goal of the season. The two teams traded goals throughout the rest of the first half, with Cardinal scores coming from Leah Sherman ’15, Martha Harding ’16, and Maddy Coulter ’14. Harding’s goal was the sophomore’s 12th on the year, good for third-most on the team.
The Cardinals trailed 5-4 at halftime, but quickly tied the game three minutes into the second half when Caty Daniels ’15 netted her eighth goal of the season.
Colby then took the lead for good at the 20:38 mark of the second half with a high-bouncing goal. Sherman tacked on her 11th goal of the year at the 8:49 mark, followed by Coulter’s 3rd and final goal of the day with 1:24 remaining, which made it a one-goal game. But the Cardinals’ comeback attempt eventually fell short, with Colby able to hold on to the 9-8 victory.
Meredith Smith ’17, the Cardinals’ leading scorer, took nine shots on goal but was held scoreless. Wesleyan’s keeper, Nina Labovich ’16, came away with seven saves in the game.
The Cardinals returned to action this past Wednesday, traveling to Amherst to take on an undefeated Lord Jeffs squad, ranked third in the nation.
After Amherst jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, Daphne Kroessler ’15 opened up the scoring for Wesleyan with her first goal of the year. Smith followed with her team-high 15th goal of the season with 1:01 remaining in the first half, making it 5-2 at the break. Coulter then scored her 13th and 14th goals of the season in the second half, but Wesleyan was not able to stave off the Amherst attack, falling 8-4.
The Cardinals outshot the Lord Jeffs 17-16, picked up 19 ground balls compared to Amherst’s 17, and turned the ball over 18 times compared to Amherst’s 22, but the Lord Jeffs’ 10 saves proved to be the difference in the game.
With many hard-fought games and close losses against elite opponents, the Cardinals now sit at 0-5 in the NESCAC, leaving them with a difficult battle to make the conference playoffs. The team will look to get their first NESCAC victory with a contest against Williams at home on Saturday, April 5.