Last Sunday, while the majority of the student body was studying or watching football, one of CSU’s most accomplished and talented teams was preparing to play.
The women’s lacrosse team, a club sport here on campus, won on Sunday with an astounding score, beating rival Wyoming 21-4.
Last season, the team started off with an overtime loss to the University of California Santa Barbara. After that heart breaking game, the team bounced back and has won twenty-five straight games – including the win that earned them a national title.
The Rams beat seven-time national champions Cal Poly, a win that snapped the Mustang’s national title tournament winning streak of twenty-eight games.
Although the team won a national title last spring, they are still working hard this fall, preparing to repeat last season’s accomplishment.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work. We have a lot of new talent this year, so I’m just expecting everyone to give 100 percent to work toward that championship again,” said head coach Ellen Raih.
While they have many returning players from last season and high expectations for new freshman players, the team will have to overcome some key losses from last year’s squad.
The loss of the team’s coach, and their four-time All-American goalie Brook Lewis could make any team feel less confident. Nevertheless, this team has confidence in themselves and in their upcoming season.
“As long as we keep up the intensity and our freshman pull through, I think we’re going to be pretty good,” said offensive player Erin O’Brien.
One of the strengths of the team is their unique zone defense which last season worked to perfection.
“People have tried to go up against it, and had a lot of trouble,” O’Brien said.
What teams may not be prepared for is the unity the team has on and off the field, which lets them anticipate each other’s movements.
“Our defense works really well together, and we have a tendency to shut down other people’s offense,” said offensive player Kristen Kasney.
While it’s well known that the team’s defense is a force to be reckoned with, the offense scores the goals.
“They tend to work well together. We know when each other are cutting, we look for each others passes and we’re really good at getting a shot off quick and catching the goalie off guard,” Kasney said.
Another strength of the team is their ability to keep the pace of the game high, with hard conditioning and three practices a week even though the season has not even started yet.
The strengths are apparent but the weaknesses will be hard to find. Coach Raih found it difficult to pinpoint a weakness on her defending champion team, but after minutes of searching for an answer she found the team’s only weakness in one of their strengths – competitiveness.
“Everyone wants to win and so they’re trying to push each other,” Raih said.
Club sports beat writer Keith Robertson can be reached at email@example.com.