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Women’s lacrosse picks up first NESCAC win against Amherst

March 29, 2024

Courtesy of Brian Beard
TO THE LAX: The women’s lacrosse team celebrates during a game. The team won its first NESCAC game against Amherst College last weekend.

On Saturday, women’s lacrosse captain Emelia Krakora ’24 scored a last-minute point against Amherst College to secure the team’s first NESCAC win of the season (8–7). The team (5–3; 1–3 NESCAC) went on to defeat Plymouth State University (3–4) 22–4 on Wednesday night. The victory against Amherst (3–4; 1–3 NESCAC) marked the team’s first conference win of the season and built the Polar Bears’ confidence as they prepare to play Hamilton College (3–3; 2–2 NESCAC) tomorrow.

Krakora was proud of the team’s energy despite battling the elements last Saturday.

“It was pouring rain, and it was freezing cold out, but it was just so fun to be out there. Our defense played unbelievably. Our zone completely shut them down and that was awesome, just the screaming on the sideline, and everyone was going crazy,” Krakora said.

The team had to lean on each other as several key starters were injured. Many of the team’s younger players were able to get on the field and contribute. At this point in the season, battling multiple injuries on the team requires many players to step into new roles and fit into the team’s larger success.

“Our top goal scorers are injured, and so now other people need to step up on offense. So, I’ve had to switch my mentality,” Krakora said. “Every time I have the ball, [I think], ‘What am I going to do? I need to do something impactful.’”

Midfielder Ellie Schofield ’24 said that, because the team knew it was an even match against Amherst, it knew the win would go to the team that worked harder.

“Every single play, [it’s about] being on and being focused, thinking about ‘How can I make myself an asset to the team in this one moment?’” Schofield said.

A week before competing against Amherst, the team lost to Connecticut College (5–3; 1–3 NESCAC) 5–10. For midfielder Hannah Gold ’26, the loss ramped up the team’s expectations for the rest of the season.

“We were angered with ourselves, which made us want to work harder in practice. Our coaches expected more, and we expected more of ourselves. We didn’t want that loss to define our season,” Gold said.

In order to comeback from its loss, Gold explained that the team changed its expectations for upcoming games.

“We learned that we need to shift our mindset to ‘we need to win everything’ and expect every team to be a competitor regardless of their standings last year,” Gold said. “Everyone has a clean slate.”

As a pregame tradition, the lacrosse team breaks into buddy pairs for a psych-up. For its game against Amherst, some pairs sang “Murder on the Dance Floor,” changing the lyrics to “murder on the Mammoths.”

“It’s always good to get the nerves out, get everyone laughing and get everyone hyped up for the game,” Krakora said.

Before each game, the players huddle and focus on breathing to calm their nerves and ground themselves.

“We take a second to breathe, then breathe more deeply with the idea that there is always more to give and you can always breathe deeper.” Schofield said. “Even if you think you can’t, you can always go harder.”

Krakora’s strategy throughout each game relies on trusting her training and her teammates.

“We focus a lot on trusting yourself on the field, having confidence [that] when you have the ball, if practiced, I’m going to make the right decision and make the right decision for the team, but then also trusting your teammates,” Schofield said.

Following its first NESCAC win, the team is confident in each other’s performance for the rest of the season.

“This team is hungry for more wins. We know how it feels, we know how awesome we can play when we are all playing our best and playing together,” Krakora said.“We’re excited for the competition. We know we’ve proven that we’re capable of doing it now.”

As the lacrosse team prepares for the rest of their season, the team hopes to place in the top four in the NESCAC and earn a bid to the NCAA tournament.

“We have the systems in place where we’re able to beat these NESCAC teams. So let’s push forward with that. Now we know it feels like and we know what we have to do,” Schofield said.


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