To say the Wilkes University women’s lacrosse team is a force to be reckoned with would be a ridiculous statement in the past few years, but with the invigoration of the new freshman class, astounding team chemistry and leadership of the upperclassmen, the team is geared to make a run at the Freedom Conference title.
Just to give a little more background on the lacrosse team’s situation, in the preseason conference polls they were voted to finish last among the conference after a lackluster performance last year where they did not win a single game within conference play.
Interim Head Coach Danielle Hawkins said that one of the main reasons for the team’s success this year is because of their goal setting agendas.
“It’s great to see the girls believing in themselves and working so hard as a team to complete those goals and tasks that are given to them.”
Goal-setting isn’t the main motivator of the team from talking to multiple sources on the team one common ideal that was echoed was the idea of hard work, or putting in work.
Junior accounting major Gabby Ford made it clear to the incoming freshman that while some offseason workouts weren’t mandatory, it didn’t take much convincing as the team had turned out in full force very often.
With the work ethic instilled early on in the season the chemistry came on stronger over spring break, Ford pointed to the time the team spent bonding on an empty campus.
“Since practice is two hours, then we’d have the rest of the day, so we were here four days earlier, it was just us the entire time,” Ford said.
Spring break helped solidify the team in the early spring, Ford stressed that the chemistry hasn’t been something they had to work on as much as it has come naturally.
Freshman Tori Kerr, one of the leading scorers on the team, noted the idea that the team has bonded together very well this season, she noted the idea that team has competitions during practice to bring them together.
“The other day we actually had a contest, and it was pretty much like the egg toss game, where you catch it, you back up, you back up, you back up. We got pretty far actually.”
Kerr continued saying that, “actually Jess and I won. She was past midfield about. We didn’t win by much, it was very close, everyone was close.”
Even with the chemistry and the success the team still has one goal they are trying to reach that they cannot achieve on their own, and that’s to get more fans.
“We have like no fans,” Kerr said, “I feel like people will now see that we are doing so well and be like, wow I want to go check the girls out. Like if we do really well in conference people will be like I really want to see them play. So maybe then they’ll come.”
The team is 1-1 in conference play, with a big win over the highly touted Eastern University. At one point in the game the team was actually up by 10 points, which invokes the mercy rule, meaning the clock will run continuously. Hawkins said that the mercy rule isn’t a goal that they try to achieve, that it is a nice achievement to reach, but Ford, the captain, seemed to see the mercy rule as more of a message to the conference.
But what the team did agree on was the idea that winning the conference is a very tangible goal.
“I think we have the potential to win the conference,” Hawkins said. “I know teams are a little shocked that we beat Eastern.
“I think Eastern was taking us a little lightly at the beginning and was like ‘Wow where did Wilkes come from?’ Because last year we lost by 10, we got 10-goaled by almost every team in conference and for us to come back and 10-goal them was a big deal.”
Another sentiment that ran deep throughout the team was a superstitious belief of, “not jinxing anything.” Right after the above interview, the team lost to Arcadia, which was expected to be a tough test because Arcadia was ranked highly in preseason conference rankings.
The team looks to get back on the winning track Wednesday at Misericordia University.