The Raider women’s lacrosse team continued its amazing play on Saturday against Patriot League opponent American. Entering the game undefeated and tied atop the league standings, the Raiders validated their position once again by controlling every aspect of the game in a dominant 17-3 victory.
“Saturday was an emotional day for us, as it was the last [regular season] home game for the 10 seniors,” senior co-captain Heidi Ross said. “I think that no matter who we played that day, we would have dominated.It didn’t matter that it was American – it was our day, and reality had sunk in that it could be our last chance to compete on that turf.”
The Raiders certainly made the most of Senior Day, thoroughly dismantling the high-flying Eagles. American entered the game with a 3-1 league record, good enough for third place. With a victory, the Eagles would have pulled into a second-place tie with Colgate, and so the importance of the game could not be overstated.
“We were very focused heading into the game against American,” said senior Katie McVeigh, who moved into second place all-time in league history with 195 goals scored.”We knew that American is always a good team that comes out wanting to beat us every time we face them.We were confident that if we played the way we are capable of then we would be able to beat them.”
And beat them they did. Senior co-captain Kelly Winning made the most of her final regular season game on Tyler’s Field, recording a career-high four assists in addition to two goals – Winning’s next point will make her the fourth Raider in Patriot League history to reach the 200-point plateau. Seniors Anne Coomber and McVeigh added a hat trick apiece, as did junior Tara Casey.
Overall, it was a day of celebration for the celebrated Class of 2006. Seniors scored or assisted on 10 of the team’s 17 goals, but they did not only shine solely on the offensive end, as senior goalkeeper Sue Bielamowiczrecorded four saves while allowing a career-low two goals. As the score became increasingly one-sided, she was replaced by first-year Kari Morrison, who allowed just one goal in the final eight minutes of the game.
The Patriot League season is winding down, with one league contest remaining. The stakes in the season’s final game, however, could not be higher. Both Holy Cross and Colgate currently sit at 5-0 in the league, but only one will finish the regular season undefeated. In the game of the year in the Patriot League, the Raiders will travel to Worcester for a 3:00 p.m. game this afternoon. The winner claims the regular season title and is rewarded with home-field advantage for the Patriot League Tournament.
“Holy Cross will provide us with a tough match-up,” McVeigh said.”Ever since the Patriot League Tournament finals last year, they have been looking for their chance to play us again. Even though there is a lot resting on the outcome, we will go in like every other game this season, looking to play our best.”
Heidi Ross illustrated her confidence when talking about the Holy Cross game.
“Our dominant victory [over American] should scare them,” Ross said.”Our senior class has earned two consecutive home-field advantages for the Patriot League Tourney, and we are not about to let go of the third.We plan to make sure that Holy Cross will be driving back to us a week after Friday.”
The Patriot League tournament winner will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, so the stakes are extremely high as the Raiders look to continue their amazing 21-game Patriot League winning streak.