Under new head coach, women’s lacrosse season opens with a victory

Women’s lacrosse, under new head coach Barbara Vega, tackled their season debut despite having lost 44 percent of their offense front to graduation in 2017. They opened their season on Saturday, Feb. 24 with a win against Southwestern (TX) 17-16, setting a high precedent for the upcoming season.

Photo courtesy of Loras College Athletics — The women’s lacrosse team lines up for the national anthem at their season opener.

“Following our win against Southwestern, I got several texts from coaches congratulating us on the first win. It was really awesome to see everyone in the community come together to support us,” said Vega.

In the tight match against Southwestern, the Duhawk win included four goals a piece from senior Sarah Hanson and sophomore Olivia Flynn, a hat trick from junior Renata Veljacic, and goals from first-year Katlynne Wolf, juniors Adira Dangoy and Sarah James, and senior Nia Stompanato. In the net, senior goalie Ashley McGee had an impressive 17 saves.

“There’s a really great team chemistry. We have seven first-years this year, and everyone seems to blend well with each other; from the seniors to the first-years, everyone gets along and it’s really great to see,” said Vega. “(But) I think establishing consistency has been a challenge, because of all of the coaching changes. The biggest thing is providing structure and guidelines so we can have that consistency.”

The following Saturday, March 3, the women traveled to St. Paul, MN. Against Northwestern, the Duhawks lost 9-13, with Flynn scoring her second consecutive hat trick, and goals coming from Stompanato, Hanson, James, Wolf, Veljacic, and senior Katie Kulas.

Despite the loss, Vega is excited to see what the season holds for the team.

“I think the team chemistry, and having a lot of support and energy on and off the field will be the biggest strengths for this season,” said Vega. “Our team definitely has a great dynamic. Each player has strengths and weaknesses, and they’re able to build off each other in really great ways.”

The Duhawks return on Saturday, March 10 against Hamline at 4 p.m. Hamline will be their first conference matchup of the season, and as their first home match, will be a great determiner of the matches to come.

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Halea Griffin is a sports writer for The Lorian.

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