Nationally ranked UMW women’s lacrosse proves to be contender in CAC
BY SARA TILLEY
The women’s lacrosse season is more than halfway through and the University of Mary Washington team is playing strong with 11 wins and just two losses. They have had some tough games, notably playing the No. 7 York on April 2 and coming out on top.
The No. 18 Eagles started off in February with a huge win over Shenandoah, 13 – 4, giving them confidence for the rest of the season. The confidence from this win carried on as they went on to defeat seven more teams: Washington & Lee, Lynchburg, Guilford, Meredith, Southern Virginia, Randolph-Macon and Roanoke. However, they faced a tough loss at Catholic, losing by only two goals. In the first half, the Eagles scored five goals, while Catholic only scored one, which made a win for the Eagles seem inevitable. In the second half, however, Catholic came out on fire, scoring eight goals while UMW scored only two, leaving the final score to be 9-7. That was a tough loss for UMW, dropping the team from being ranked 15th to being ranked 18th in the country.
Last week, the Eagles brought home another win when they defeated York 11-6. It was a tied game at the half, both teams having scored five goals, but the team managed to score six times in the second half, where as York only scored once. Junior Kelsey Vincent was a key player in the game, scoring three of the 11 goals as well as having one assist. In goal, freshman Hanna Ashby had eight saves, helping to lead the Eagles to victory. This win put them at 4-1 in the Capital Athletic Conference.
Paige Thumel, a captain of the team, noted that this win was huge. “York has been a team that we have come close to defeating countless times, but hadn’t come out with a victory since 2011. After a lot of hard work, preparation and an incredible team effort, we finally won 11-6. More than just the single victory, this game shows that our team is a serious contender for a CAC Championship.”
This win came at a perfect time with UMW visiting conference foe St. Mary’s College on April 7 for their 4 p.m. game. “We’ve had some nice wins over quality opponents,” said head coach Caitlin Moore. “We have things we need to work on, but we see how good we can be and it’s both encouraging and exciting.”
Preparing for this week’s game against St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the team has “really focused on communication, situational decisions and quality shots,” according to Moore. The April 7 matchup comes after a two-game win-streak and an especially big win over York. On April 16, the Eagles play their last regular season game before heading to the CAC tournament, making it Senior Day. Seniors Ashlyn Dacey, Jamie Dillon and Paige Thumel will be honored as they play in their regular season game at the Battlegrounds.
Looking forward, Moore and team captains, Thumel and Emily Mott are hopeful and excited. The Eagles still will face two more nationally ranked teams, St. Mary’s and Christopher Newport University. “Our plan is to take each game one at a time, and make every game our best game of the season,” according to the captains.