In the first Willamette intercollegiate women’s lacrosse team’s game, on Sunday, Feb. 24, the Bearcats scored the first six goals against Johnson & Wales University, leading to a historical 16-5 victory at Sparks Field. Three Bearcats scored four goals each: sophomore Anabel Ohsman, first-year Miranda Piros and sophomore Lexie Andrade.
Being that this was the lacrosse team’s first game, Head Coach Sarah Lautenbach was very pleased with how her team performed. She said to reporter Robert McKinney, “Their ability to make the transition from only having experience practicing to putting it all together for a full game is encouraging as we continue to build. As a coaching staff we couldn’t be more pleased with their effort and energy today.”
The action began immediately as Piros scored the first goal for the Bearcats less than two minutes into the first half and simultaneously became the first player to score a goal in Willamette women’s lacrosse history. WU followed this momentum up with two goals courtesy of first-year Victoria Glidden, a goal by Oshman, a goal by Andrade and one more by Piros. This led to the Bearcats earning a 6-0 advantage halfway through the first half.
With about 14 minutes left, J&W shot and scored; bringing the score to 6-1. Oshman achieved the first hat trick for the Bearcats with three goals made before the half. By the halftime mark, the Bearcats held a sizeable margin of 8-1.
Heading into the game, Oshman remembered not feeling any outstanding pressure to perform but focused on enjoying the time on the field. She said, “I wanted to do well ;but I was pretty focused on just having a good time. Our coaches kept telling us to have fun and not get overwhelmed by nerves. I really appreciate that our coaches recognize how important it is that we are all having fun. I think it makes us play a lot better as a team when we are enjoying what we are doing.”
Sophomore Alayna Newland scored the first goal of the second half and later added two assists to help the Bearcats sustain their lead. J&W responded with two goals of their own that reduced the margin to six points, 9-3. The Bearcats remained composed and scored six consecutive goals, three by Andrade, two by Piros and one from first-year Laura Kelly, earning the Bearcats a 15-3 lead.
The Wildcats scored two of the last three goals, but Oshman tallied the second-to-last goal, reaching a grand total of four goals. After the game, Oshman said to reporter Robert McKinney, “Today’s game was so exciting for us as a team. It was amazing to have so much support from the Willamette community. Our team has grown so much, and I’m excited to see what we will be able to accomplish this season.”
WU finished the game with a 37-12 advantage in total shots on goal. WU’s goalkeeper, senior Kara Phillips made two saves, while J&W’s goalkeepers made 11 saves.
Willamette Head Coach Sarah Lautenbach said, “While we have a lot to improve upon from this game as we move further into the season, we are very happy with the players’ growth thus far.”
The substantial crowd of students and families that attended the game created a supportive environment that Oshman said definitely contributed to their success. “It was amazing to receive that kind of support from the student body. All week people were telling us how excited they were to come to see the lacrosse game, and I can’t believe how many people showed up to watch. All the hype was a little nerve-racking, but it made it that much more fun,” said Oshman.
The women’s lacrosse team has its second game of the season on Tuesday, March 5, against Wartburg College at Sparks Field. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (PST).