The women’s lacrosse team is eyeing a possible bid for the NCAA tournament following this weekend’s first-round loss against Colby. Because of the NESCAC’s high level of competition, the Polar Bears still have a chance at securing an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, despite ranking seventh in conference play.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a nearly two-year hiatus, the women’s lacrosse team was comprised almost entirely of players who had never seen a full NESCAC season.
Auggie Burke ’24 was frustrated following the loss to rival Colby.
“We were only just getting started,” Burke said. “There’s a lot of versatility. We did try new things. We finished with a different offense than we started with at the beginning of the season.”
In addition to the problems posed by the pandemic throughout the past year, the team was hit with a Covid-19 outbreak the week before their Colby loss. Despite losing many starters and scorers and having fewer than ten subs, the team still triumphed over Connecticut College last week, pulling off a 19-5 win.
Captain Olivia Coveney ’22 felt that the team’s ability to overcome the Covid-19 related issues was crucial in securing the win.
“I’m proud that even though so many things went wrong, we just kept moving forward,” Coveney said. “We still have a chance to make it to NCAAs.”
Burke believes that both she and her team’s skills have improved over the course of the season.
“Everyone has felt that they’ve grown as a player. I have felt my game completely change for the better [in terms of] how I am on the field and how I react to things,” Burke said. “We’ve learned … people’s patterns and how to set someone up for success. Everyone already gets along so naturally and those tiny things that we need to fix will happen.”
Though most players had never experienced a full college lacrosse season, they pulled off a 9-7 record in the regular season.
“The inexperience of our team has made our team so close because we can all learn from each other and help each other.” Coveney said. “[With] no set line ups, there is [fluidity] and everyone wants everyone to succeed.”
If the NCAA bid doesn’t pan out, the Polar Bears feel prepared for future competition. With only two graduating seniors, the team’s roster will remain largely the same for next season. The team is certain that they will go into next season with confidence and consistency.
Coveney described the opportunity as “room to grow with the foundation for success.”
Going forward, the greener players on the team are excited about the possibility of bringing greatness to the program. Sophia Rutman ’24 knows exactly what she wants this group to accomplish before she graduates in two years:
“[Win] the NESCAC.”