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Women’s lacrosse is well on their way to a successful season

Eastern’s women’s lacrosse team is off to a great start.

This year, in keeping with tradition, they have a winning record and are considered a threat to every team in their conference. They also have unity, forged by a spring break trip to Florida and an emphasis on passing in games.

The team has made it to the PAC Championship seven out of the past eight years. Interestingly, every PAC tournament brought the lady Eagles face-to-face with Cabrini.

Last year, they won the championship and advanced into the first round of the NCAA tournament. The team’s 7-2 record and the maturing skills of the players indicate that the same may happen this spring.

“The overall experience of the NCAA tournament was incredible and is motivating us to do it again,” senior captain Kate Hoy said.

Assistant coach Rachel Lenzo, an ’04 Eastern alumna who played for the Eagles as a student, said that there is a big disparity between the talent level inside the conference and the skills the team encounters at the tournament.

“It’s just going to come down to digging deep in the big competition,” Lenzo said.

With five seniors, nine sophomores and five first-years, the team has a very young dynamic.

However, it seems to be working for them. According to Lenzo, the core group of seniors has been providing solid leadership. As for the younger players, “They play and lead like players who are confident and experienced,” Hoy said. “Their chemistry and skill together will only strengthen throughout their remaining years.”

Within the team, Hoy and sophomore Jessie Basch are leaders on offense. For 2006, Hoy was honored as PAC Player of the Year, while Basch was named Rookie of the Year.

However, according to Lenzo, every one of the offensive players is considered a threat to the opposition, and there is a strong focus on teamwork. Three of the team’s games this season have included over 15 assists in each game, demonstrating this focus.

On defense, first-year Sarah Hager, sophomore Linnea Davis and senior Jenessa Winters are high contributors. At this point in the season, Hager has 27 ground balls and 20 cause turnovers.

Davis is a strong defender despite the surgery she underwent last summer for a torn ACL. Winters, one of the captains, moves quickly and leads on the field.

Cabrini remains the toughest in-conference challenge for the team. On March 23, the team fell to Cabrini in their first in-conference loss of the season.

“It’s just a matter of staying composed under that pressure,” Christine Hickman, a senior who plays midfield, said. “We could have beaten them.”

Lenzo expressed a similar sentiment.

“Lacrosse ability-wise, both teams are very even, so it’s more what team is more mentally tough during the game,” she said.

The women’s lacrosse team has an array of strong players, an emphasis on unity and a commitment to hard and sometimes exhausting work. They are a team who has what it takes, and they are a team to keep an eye on as they fight to defend their title as champions.

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