Section: Sports

Ladies lacrosse loses first two conference matches

Women's Lacrosse
The Ladies lost to the Wittenberg University Tigers 12-17 on Tuesday, April 1. (Kristen Huffman)

By Esteban Bachelet | Staff Writer

In the midst of an animated halftime pep talk against Wittenberg University on Tuesday, the Kenyon College Ladies lacrosse team experienced a moment of clarity.

Just five days prior, the Ladies had made short work of Otterbein University 10-7 at Mavec Field on March 28, taking a 6-1 overall record into a pair of conference match-ups. That’s when things fell apart — the Ladies dropped their first North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) game at Oberlin College 14-6 on a wintery Saturday.

Two days after the Oberlin loss, the Ladies faced a 9-3 halftime gap against the Wittenberg Tigers, one of the most physical teams in the conference. The Ladies outscored the Tigers in the second half but could not overcome the early lapse, falling 17-12 on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon at Mavec Field.

“We didn’t find our fire fast enough,” Head Coach Meredith Buzzi said. “We could have hung with them a little differently if we had that intensity and energy.”

The pair of conference losses drops the Ladies to 6-3 overall and 0-2 in the NCAC.

Though the weather conditions affected the Ladies’ play against the Oberlin Yeowomen, the loss came from all levels of play without many positives.

“It was a wake-up call for us,” Co-Captain Susie Gurzenda ’14 said. “We realized we needed to rethink our game. We did a lot of thinking.”

Co-Captain Alex Bair ’14 and Amy Morgan ’14 each scored twice for the Ladies in a sluggish 14-6 losing effort.

“There’s not a lot of super positive things to say [about the Oberlin game],” Buzzi said.

“In other circumstances we definitely could have beat them, but sometimes we have bad games,” Bair said.

Some of the lazy play carried over into the first half against Wittenberg. The Tigers used fast, physical play to overwhelm the Ladies’ defense early, jumping out to a 9-3 advantage at the half. Bair, Co-Captain Kate Lang ’14 and Caroline Shipman ’15 all scored for the Ladies.

“It takes us a while to get into our flow and sometimes we get down on ourselves,” Bair said.

The Ladies stormed back after an inspirational halftime talk to come within two goals, 9-7.

“We were really smart with our play, and we were able to combat their physicality with smart play,” Bair said.

The Ladies positioned themselves well from defense to offense and fought hard to keep the score close. In the end, a lack of offensive execution and a tendency to foul the fast, strong Tigers led to the loss. Tigers goalkeeper Katie Reuter made 13 stops, holding the Ladies to two goals off nine free-position shots.

“We saw what we can do when we work together and have possession. We saw some really good aspects on defense. They just beat us,” Buzzi said.

Shipman had four goals and one assist. Bair finished with three goals and one assist. Shipman, with 22 goals, and Bair, with 20 goals, are fourth and fifth, respectively, on the NCAC goal-scoring leaderboard.

“We need to experience losses in order to recognize how we are going to win and how we are going to be successful,” Bair said.

The Ladies will look to get back on track against Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) on Sunday, April 6, at noon at OWU.


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