The women’s lacrosse team started its season with a lot of question marks after returning only three starters from last year’s squad. The only returning attacker, Carolyn Gorajek ’13, helped answer most of those questions on the offensive side of the ball, averaging just under four goals a game so far this season. She has 23 total points in five games, 13 more than the next highest scoring player on Bowdoin’s roster.

This early success is hardly a surprise to any women’s lacrosse fans; Gorajek averaged 3.0 goals per game last season while picking up 66 total points—enough to lead the 2012 team by 20. Should she sustain her current goal production, she’ll net 56 by the season’s end.
Gorajek is just 13 points, four goals and 18 assists from owning Bowdoin’s career records in all three statistical categories. She will likely pass the goal mark this weekend.  

Gorajek’s path to NESCAC dominance started with her parents, former lacrosse players themselves. She eventually left the town league they started to play at the Peddie School. After falling in love with lacrosse, the “community feel” of Bowdoin and the chemistry that the team displayed during her overnight visit eased the difficult decision of choosing between the competitive NESCAC schools.

“Lacrosse is a quick sport—anything can happen in 10 seconds—but it’s also a team sport,” she said. “It’s about how the team unites more than it is about you personally.”

Gorajek played defense on the soccer team since her sophomore year, which provided her extra conditioning, though it was sometimes difficult to work on stick skills during the soccer season.

Gorajek is deservingly one of the team’s captains, and fellow captain Hannah Wright ’13, a defender, said they strike the perfect balance. 

“She takes charge and leads from the front,” Wright said. “I’m usually in the back pushing people forward. It’s really fun because it allows me to reflect on my own leadership style.”

Wright also noted that Gorajek’s play has helped her whole team excel, especially with Bowdoin learning an entirely new list of offensive and defensive sets this year. 

 “It’s rewarding to get a defensive stop and see it turn into a goal at the other end,” Wright said. “It gives you the energy to keep up the momentum for the entire game.”

Gorajek sees her role as an opportunity to give the underclassmen the confidence they need to make an impact on and off the field. Both she and Wright believe having the chance to involve other members of the team is the best part of having a young team and new plays. 

“Everyone has to start from square one,” Wright said. “It’s easier to find a role because more people are playing. [Carolyn’s early success] shows her ability to learn quickly and improve year to year, which is hard to do in the NESCAC.”

The sports editor of the Orient chooses the Athlete of the Week based on exemplary performance.