The women’s lacrosse team (11-2, 6-2 NESCAC) charged to a 14-10 win over Connecticut College (4-9, 1-7 NESCAC) last weekend. This vaulted the Polar Bears to a fourth place national ranking in the most recent Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association D-III poll. The team beat the University of Southern Maine yesterday at home 18-4 and will travel on Saturday to Middletown, Conn. to face Wesleyan (4-9, 0-8 NESCAC). 

The win against Connecticut College this past weekend marked the team’s fourth straight win. However, the team was cautious going into the matchup, despite its strong record.

“We wanted to stress that even though Conn. has not had the best record this season, it was still going to be a really big game and that we couldn’t just go in thinking that we could take the win,” said Emma Beecher ’16, who scored a hat-trick for her team.

Captain Taylor Wilson ’15, named NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Player of the Week for her high-scoring performance, also remarked on the team’s deliberate approach to the game.

“This was the best [Connecticut College] team that we’ve ever played,” said Wilson. “We both knew how important this game was for NESCAC standings.”

In a tough push-and-pull for goals in the middle of the game, the Polar Bears rallied at halftime to execute to earn them the win.

“Something’s that special about our team is that we didn’t really realize that we went down. We kept our composure and just kept going,” said Beecher. “We tried to do the basic things—get the draw controls, make the right passes, make the right decisions.”

Wilson praised the team’s poise in the second half and found that their energy propelled the team to fight harder for points.

 “Our team in general, the confidence and intensity that we all had for the second half, fired all of us up and inspired us to say ‘We’re going to look at the scoreboard and we’re going to be winning at the end of this game,’” said Wilson.

 Beecher cited Wilson’s grit and ability to find the back of the net, which triggered a six to one goal run.

 “[Wilson] got a free position shot and from there, it just sparked our energy and we just kept going. We started finding the right drives and the right feeds…We just started to click more,” said Beecher.

 Wilson also referenced her teammates’ contributions, strategically taking advantage of Connecticut’s weaknesses to build the six-goal margin.

 “As far as the performances from myself, [Lindsay Picard ’16] and [Beecher], as midfielders, it was definitely a chance for us because Conn. was weak in their defense at the top of the eight-meter,” said Wilson. “We knew that if we were going full-speed to goal, we’d be able to capitalize, and that was exactly what happened.” 

The team’s defense was dominant in the game, another asset that contributed to the Polar Bears’ success. 

“We have one of the best defense [lineups] in the NESCAC and all of our defenders are super quick and super fast, which isn’t very typical,” said Wilson. “Yes, [Conn. College’s offensive players] were coming in hard to goal, but we were able to step up and stop them and were good about bringing the ball out of our defensive end.”

 Yesterday, the team faced University of Southern Maine (USM) on Ryan Field.

 In a pre-game interview, Beecher said that she saw the game as a good opportunity for her team to be creative in their game play and to get looks at new combinations of players. 

“[The USM game] will allow us to work on new things, without the necessary pressure of a NESCAC game, which is important for us to do—we are always a little more innovative in those games,” said Beecher.

Indeed the game did provide an opportunity to explore strategy outside the NESCAC, as the Polar Bears dominated the Siberian Huskies 18-4.

 Tomorrow, the Polar Bears travel to play the Cardinals of Wesleyan University. Wesleyan is currently trailing in NESCAC standings, but will offer solid competition.

 Beecher said, “Wesleyan is typically not that strong, but the scores we’ve seen show that they’re a different team than they typically are, which is good news for us in that we typically play better when we’re playing more competitive teams.”  

 Beyond Wesleyan, the Polar Bears will face Tufts University (9-4, 5-3 NESCAC) next week to round out their regular season competition before the NESCAC championships and the NCAA D-III Tournament. 

“It’s kind of crazy how the rest of the season just flies by once we get into NESCACs—we’re really excited for post-season,” said Beecher.