BY LAURA MCCANDLESS – STAFF WRITER
The 2016 Women’s Lacrosse team is off to a hot start this spring. After suffering a hard fought 14-13 loss in Alabama to Birmingham Southern, the Colonels have won three straight contests.
This year’s Colonels have multiple key role players returning from last year’s team, including senior Jacqueline Anderson and junior Ellen Resinger. Both women were Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-West Region selections for the 2015 season and look to lead the team to a second SAA Championship in three years (2014 SAA Champions).
In 2015, the defending SAA conference champion Colonels finished 7-10 with a 5-2 SAA record, finishing third in the conference behind Rhodes (15-2, 6-1) and 2015 conference champion Sewanee (17-2, 7-0). Anderson led the Colonels with 53 goals (4th in the SAA) on 117 shots (2nd in the SAA). Resinger was second on the team with 38 goals on 83 shots. Senior goalkeeper Allison Eisner was top five in the SAA with 108 saves on the year.
The 2016 Colonels feature youth all over the field, particularly a talented sophomore class. Sophomores in starting roles include: Colleen Jackson, Haden Gibbons, Hannah Bellamah Lena Jewler, Devin Baker, and goalkeeper Natalie Marek, as well as two freshmen in Mary Allen and Hannah Hardy, each starting every game of the season thus far.
In the Colonels’ 3-1 start of the season, the Colonels averaged 15 goals per game. Anderson leads the team in points with 19, compiling 14 goals and five assists. Tied for second in points are Bellamah and Hardy with 16. Bellamah has 12 goals with four assists and Hardy has 11 goals paired with five assists. Third is Jackson with 14, compiling nine goals and five assists. Resinger leads the team in draw controls with 23 and has also contributed seven goals. Marek is one of the top goalkeepers in the SAA so far with 34 saves. Marek has also been named SAA Defensive Player of the Week for the first time this season.
For the Colonels, one particular team statistic that stands out amongst the rest with last year’s team and now the 2016 team is an impeccable home record. When SAA opponents come to Centre College for games, they can expect to walk away with a loss. In 2015, the Colonels had a 5-1 record at home, a trend that has continued this year as they are off to a 2-0 start on their home turf.
“I think it helps that we are comfortable with our surroundings so we don’t make silly mistakes like which sideline is the right one which can happen at away games,” said Jackson. “Also, we’re not tired from traveling on a bus, so it definitely gets us more excited so I would say it benefits us for sure.”
On Monday, March 7, the Women’s Lacrosse team took it to Siena Heights University (0-1) in a lopsided 17-2 win. The Colonels improve their record to 4-1 and continue their impressive run at home to 3-0 this year and 8-1 in their last nine home games. Anderson scored three goals to bring her season total to 17, while senior Andrea Wambaugh also added two goals and two assists.
The Colonels next contest will be at home once again against Roanoke College on Sat., March 19 at 2:00 p.m.