The women’s lacrosse team began its third season this weekend with back-to-back games against Carthage and Augsburg. The Duhawks fell in both matchups, but showed signs of improvement from their first game to the next.
In their first matchup, a quality Carthage opponent took the first match 24-3, despite a promising start for Loras. After the Duhawks scored two goals in the opening minutes, the Lady Reds of Carthage took control. After the encouraging start, Carthage followed with ten unanswered goals before halftime.
Some bright spots for Loras were the continued outstanding play of junior Kaitlyn Kutsch as well as the emergence of several underclassmen. Kutsch led the Duhawks with two goals, while also dominating the draw controls, winning ten on the night. Kutsch has been a scoring machine in her first two seasons for the women’s lacrosse team and will provide leadership for this year’s squad.
“The older leadership on the team has set a remarkable example of the values we want our program to represent, which are passion, grit and commitment,” Head Coach Emily Goetz said.
In her third season, Kutsch will serve as team captain and hope to lead a more balanced attack with the emergence of several improved upperclassmen and promising underclassmen.
“I saw tremendous potential for all players to emerge as team leaders in the preseason and each one will contribute to the team in a number of ways,” said Goetz. “If not by stats, then by enthusiasm and an unwavering commitment to challenge our stat leaders to be better, smarter players. Every player contributes to this team and each person has a role in the successes of this program.”
First-year Haley Sundquist scored the third and final goal for the Duhawks. Fellow first-year Ashley McGee also stood out in her first college performance, tallying nine saves while in goal.
In their second game, the women’s lacrosse team started strong once again, but came up short to Augsburg, 22-9. The Duhawks played a solid first half, keeping the deficit to one at halftime. However, the Auggies steady attack overcame Loras’ efforts in the second half. Six different players scored for Loras.
“We are working hard at spreading out our attack and making everyone a threat to goal,” said Goetz. “This will make it much harder for teams to shut us down on attack. We are also working really hard at possessing the ball and playing a more possession oriented game.”
Kutsch continued to shine in the second game, earning the honor of Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference Player of the Week. In just two games, Kutsch impressively tallied 13 draw controls, nine ground balls, six goals and four caused turnovers.
While waiting for better weather, the Duhawks will have nearly a month to prepare for their next game on March 21 when they travel to Waukesha, WI, to play the Carroll Pioneers.