After suffering their first loss at the end of March, the University of Chicago women’s lacrosse team continues to bounce back, claiming two consecutive victories in convincing fashion. On Saturday, they defeated North Central College 19–9, and the following day they defeated St. Mary’s College 16–10 to maintain a 10–1 record while going 2–0 in conference play.
Facing a North Central team that reached the CCIW championship game the previous year, defeating them was not going to be a simple task. The Cardinals quickly imposed themselves by scoring first at the 27:50 mark, to which the Maroons responded by scoring two goals to take the lead. The Cardinals intensified their offensive play and secured three consecutive goals to take the 5–2 lead. Despite the tide shifting towards the Cardinals, the Maroons remained unfazed. Regaining and maintaining possession translated to five straight goals scored. The first half concluded with both teams scoring two goals, leaving UChicago with a 9–7 lead.
As the second half commenced, the Maroons made the necessary improvements to not only make fewer turnovers, but also subdue the Cardinals on both ends of the field. They went on an 8–0 run with 18:14 left, diminishing the Cardinals’ hopes of overcoming this deficit. While North Central scored two more goals, the Maroons iced the game by scoring two goals of their own. The game concluded 19–9, with first-year players Karina Schulze, Lally Johnson, and Audrey Kaus each scoring hat tricks.
In their match against St. Mary’s, the Belles opened up the scoring and took an immediate 2–1 lead. Schulze countered with two goals of her own to give the Maroons the lead. The Belles never had the opportunity to come back and regain the lead, as the final 12 minutes of the first half saw UChicago score four more goals. First-years Anne Sensenig and Abbey Pouba each scored one, and Schulze added another two to the scoresheet. At the end of the half, the Maroons held a 7–4 lead.
The second half demonstrated how the Belles would not go down without a fight. Constant pressure and attack from St. Mary’s allowed them to score two goals and only have an 8–6 deficit. The Maroons created separation by scoring four straight goals. Despite the back-and-forth exchanges, which led to four more goals scored by the Belles, the Maroons were relentless in maintaining the lead and freezing their opponents out for the remainder of the game. The Maroons outshot their opponents by a 37-27 margin. They capitalized on 15 free position shots and scored five goals off of them.
When asked about the team’s performance, Schulze said, “I think our team is in a unique situation as the majority of us are freshmen. Having less experience than other teams based on our age has been a challenge, but so far, we have been supportive of each other which has led to our success. I have been playing lacrosse my entire life and becoming a college athlete brought the intensity of the sport to a new level. I wouldn't be as successful on the field if it weren’t for the friendships and support of my team. From a leadership standpoint, every player has to step up at some point because our team (including the upperclassmen) is new to college-level lacrosse and we have to set examples for each other. I think working hard in practice sets an example of work ethic, which can then be translated into games.”
The University of Chicago women’s lacrosse team will return to action on Wednesday, April 10, as they take on Augustana College at 7 p.m.