Women’s LAX Playing Clutch

At a school where men’s lacrosse traditionally rules, a new coach is looking to usher in a similar run of success for the women’s program.

Just past the halfway mark of the regular season, rookie coach Kim Campbell finds herself in a 3-6 hole. The former Eastern lax player took over the reins from Camrin Azzarano this season, but stands a shade lower than Azzarano’s 4-5 mark at this point last season.

Victoria Rath looks to score a goal.
Victoria Rath looks to score a goal. Erica Engle | EU Sports Information
Still, signs of improvement have definitely shown through. Whereas last season’s front nine featured several blowout defeats—capped off by an 18-0 throttling at the hands of fifth-ranked TCNJ—the Eagles have been playing their strongest competition much closer this season. Excluding a pair of opening losses to Haverford and Albright, this season’s squad has not seen any of their other four losses be by more than six goals.

The team has also displayed an incredible knack for bringing their best play to the closest games, as shown by a pair of one-goal victories in their latest two wins. In the first, a 9-8 win over Neumann University, sophomore Anna Charlebois scored the winning goal with 45 seconds remaining to snap an 8-8 deadlock. The goal capped an Eastern rally following a 6-3 halftime deficit. It was Charlebois’ fifth goal of the game, part of her team-leading 31 goals. In their second dramatic win, the Eagles took Elizabethtown to overtime before scoring twice to secure a 14-13 victory. This time, it was Eastern’s second leading scorer, freshman Julie Haggan, who led the way with five goals, including a crucial shorthanded goal in overtime that put Eastern ahead for good. Clutch performances like these will be key for the Eagles down the stretch–they open conference play April 2 against King’s College–as will continued brilliance from the Eagles top players.

Charlebois has been sensational leading the Eagles’ offense. She and Haggan have accounted for 52 of the Eagles’ 89 goals thus far, and including assists have totaled 39 and 24 points respectively. While continued success from the duo will buoy the Eagles’ offense, improved defensive play will likely be a point of emphasis. The Eagles have allowed a total of 122 goals this season, an average of 13.5 per game.

Regardless of what the second half brings for the women’s lax team, there is certainly some enticing potential that has been displayed in the first half of the season. Fans can look forward to watching this young, up-and-coming team grow with their young, up-and-coming coach.

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