Women’s lacrosse team looks for leaders in final games of season, looking toward future

The Loras women’s lacrosse team returned to the Rock Bowl for a matchup with their crosstown rivals, the University of Dubuque Spartans, last Tuesday. They fell into an early hole and had trouble regaining their footing, despite a pair of goals from sophomore Sarah Hanson. The Spartans dominated the second half, outscoring Loras 9-1, and came away with a 19-5 victory.

“We have senior leaders who can set the offense and defense and know the expectations,” said head women’s lacrosse coach Emily Goetz, “It’s been much smoother for our new members and we are gaining momentum.”

Next came a meeting with the Concordia University Cougars, as the Duhawks looked to get back on track. Senior Kaitlyn Kutsch wasted no time as she buried a goal less than a minute into the game to put Loras ahead.

“I love seeing the team when they gain that momentum off the first draw and carry that excitement through the game,” said Goetz.

The Cougars answered, however, with two goals of their own to take their only lead of the day, but it would not last very long. Kutsch scored two consecutive goals to put Loras ahead for good, and they continued to pile on the points. Sophomore Katie Kulas picked up her first goal on the year, and first-years Martha Venchus and Emily O’Keefe each notched a goal to add to the offensive attack. The Duhawks’ defense was in control as they prevailed with a 13-4 win.

“I am looking for my team to bring the hustle and fire on the field so we get great movement through the ball and energy all around,” said Goetz.

The Duhawks were looking for back-to-back wins for the first time all season as they traveled to Waverley for an MWLC game against Wartburg. Unfortunately for the Duhawks, they could not keep up with the Knights’ offensive onslaught. Kutsch did all she could, providing 4 goals, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Wartburg. The Knights ran away with a 20-7 victory over Loras.

Balancing wins and losses, the women are looking for a strong group of reliable ladies that can grind out a victory.

“Nia Stompanato and Martha Venchus work really well together anchoring the low defense and our GK, Ashley has been making HUGE saves for us,” Goetz said.  “Martha has a lot of game experience and we have used her off the draw and down on attack.  She can come up big for us when we need that extra push on the offense.  AnnaRose Einarsen is another big contributor for us in the midfield.  She can come up with the ball by redefending through the midfield and is always a great transition point for us; her game has exploded this season and she deserves a lot of recognition for that.”

With only two games remaining on their schedule, the Duhawks hope to make the most out of their opportunities and set themselves up for the future. Kutsch has lots of optimism about the direction of the program.

“I think the future of the program is bright. I have no doubt this team will achieve big things over the next few years, and all of the underclassmen will play a role in this success,” said Kutsh.

This optimism will hopefully be what propels the women’s lacrosse team into a program with sustained success for many years to come.

The women return to the Rock Bowl this Saturday to face off with Beloit College for a conference matchup, looking to avenge last year’s 13-4 defeat.  The game is set to begin at 2 p.m.

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