The University of Chicago’s women’s lacrosse team (2–0) opened up the 2020 season with a 14–9 victory this Wednesday over the Capital Crusaders (2–2). The Maroons endured temperatures in the low 30s and frigid winds to control the game throughout. UChicago outshot Capital 30–21, and forced 20 Crusader turnovers to the Maroons’ own 16. Almost half of Capital’s goals were the result of free position shots (4–5), whereas the Maroons only struggled to convert in this aspect of the game (2–6).
Capital scored the first goal of the game at 28:26, but the Maroons used three goals to answer, two scored by first-year Katie Large and the third by second-year Ali Sheehy. Fellow second-year Sarah Bloomquist picked up two of her three assists during the run. Capital answered, but the Maroons would grow the lead to 8–2 before Crusader Luci Kanowsky scored with two seconds in the half to make it 8–3. In the second half, the lead grew as great as 14–5 on a goal by second-year Lally Johnson with 13:22 left to play. Four of the six goals scored by Capital in the second half were free position shots.
Sheehy discussed the newcomers as well as her impact on the opener: “The first-years have been really great additions to our team. Their excitement and competitiveness make every practice and game that much more exciting. We’re definitely becoming a much more well-rounded team which is great considering our more challenging schedule this year. It’s exciting to be able to make an impact especially in the first game of the season. It shows all the hard work that each of us has put into practices leading up to the start of our season, which will continue throughout the rest of the year.”
First-year goalkeeper Emily Feigen picked up the first win of her young career, saving four out of nine shots on goal. UChicago’s scoring sheet was littered with Maroons tallying multiple goals. Rookies Anneke Pulkkinen and Katie Large each scored three times, and second-year Audrey Kaus and first-year Zoe Torok each totaled two goals. Bloomquist had three assists for the Maroons, followed by Kaus with two. Defensively, first-year Charlotte Rapp led the Maroons with eight draw controls.
Sheehy also talked about the team’s outlook going into the rest of nonconference play: “We have a much more difficult schedule this year in regards to out-of-conference play. Overall though I think they will pose as really good tests for us, especially with being such a young team, and allow us to learn and continue to improve throughout this season and in the future.”
The young Maroons team followed their home-opener with a total team win on the road against Depauw. Chicago walked away with a 16–3 victory after outshooting the hosts 35 to 11. Johnson paced the team with four goals and one assist, and all three Chicago goalkeepers saw action. The Maroons’ next action at Stagg Field will take place the following Saturday against UW–River Falls at 1 p.m.