By Esteban Bachelet
About a year ago, the Ladies lacrosse team faced the Allegheny College Gators in an North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) division playoff. With the score tied 10-10, the Gators scored a heartbreaking goal with 18 seconds left to send the Ladies packing. So last Saturday’s 20-10 win over Allegheny College at Mavec Field was some well-deserved payback against the Ladies’ historically tough opponents.
“They’ve knocked us out of the playoffs three times in my [six-year] career here,” Head Coach Meredith Buzzi said, “so this was a really gratifying win for the program.”
The Ladies have been winning, and winning big. Out of nine games this season, the Ladies have won by a nine-goal margin six times ﾖ easily surpassing last year’s total through 15 games. After the Allegheny game, the Ladies improved to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the NCAC.
Starting the match slowly, the Ladies let the Gators score four of their 10 total goals within the first five minutes. “It took us a little while to warm up, probably around five minutes, until we really started showing what Kenyon women’s lacrosse is capable of,” Buzzi said.
The attack came alive and an energetic defense kept the Gators at bay. Jane Symmes ’16 and Alex Bair ’14 scored six goals each, bringing their season goal totals to 23 and 27 respectively, while Meredith Bentsen ’15 continued stellar play with five saves.
But it was the experienced combo of Emily Nichols ’13 and Leah Sack ’13 that broke records. Nichols’ four goals gave her 34 for the season and 166 for her career, bringing her to second-place all time for the Ladies. She now sits only 31 goals behind Cary Loomis’ ’94 all-time goal-scoring record of 197 goals.
Sack completed six assists against the Gators. Her 43 assists for the season are a Kenyon and NCAC record for a single season. Her career assist total of 144 also broke the Kenyon and NCAC record. Sack’s 4.78 assists per contest rank her second in all of NCAC Division III play.
“I just prefer to pass the ball and watch a teammate score than to try to drive in myself,” Sack said in an email. “My teammates work really hard cutting to get open and it’s fun to feed in a pass and see a quick goal.”
The Ladies, however, are putting records behind them and focusing on their game at Hiram College on Thursday, April 18. “We can always improve, and we’re hoping to play even better games against Hiram and Wooster, our two upcoming conference games this week,” Sack said.
“[Hiram] is really a wild card,” Buzzi said. “They’ve had some good games; they’ve had some bad games. We’re looking to go 1-0 in that series. [We want] to continue to show the conference what we are ultimately capable of.”