Skill goes up as numbers fall

by Beacon Staff • March 22, 2006

Last season, most of the team had not laced-up pads in their lives. It was the first year for many of the current players on the roster. The team's 1-7 record reflected that.,The Emerson women's lacrosse team is looking forward to creating something new and exciting at the school.

Last season, most of the team had not laced-up pads in their lives. It was the first year for many of the current players on the roster. The team's 1-7 record reflected that.

This season, the team is struggling to field players.

Senior Lauren DeLong said the team would accept any Emerson student who is interested in participating.

The team hoped 15 players from last season would come back and make a contribution this year.

However, two have injuries or illnesses and cannot practice while two more can only attend games because of their schedules, DeLong said.

She went on to say how it would be difficult playing with only 11 people on the field, since 12 are allowed to play.

According to Emerson's Director of Sports Informatin Roger Crosley, women's lacrosse teams must have at least seven players on the field, but are allowed a maximum of 12.

DeLong, former sports editor for The Beacon, compared it to playing a basketball game with only four players, while the other team has five and a bench.

"Every player is important to us and that was a big dagger," she said.

Despite the lack of players, the ones that are present are making contributions to the team.

Junior Keri Angus, the first women's lacrosse player to be named New England Women Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA) Player of the Week, admitted this season is a bit daunting.

"It can be challenging," she said. "Anytime you try to run a drill without a full squad, without 12 people, there are some challenges that arrive."

She went on to say, however, that the players who attend are eager to learn the game.

"The people that did show up want to play . and want to learn," Angus said. "It makes the time that we do have very productive."

Angus said the team has better players this season than last.

"Overall, we are light-years ahead of what we were last season," Angus said. "Last year, we had players that never stepped on a lacrosse field. [This season], almost every player has played at least one season."

Freshmen are expected to make an immediate impact on the program.

Junior Audrey Barr attributes this to the programs the players were in during last season.

"The freshmen are fresh off good high school teams," Barr said. "All the girls that are new are very good at the game."

Angus said she is already "impressed" with the mark they have made so far this year.

"They are already making a big impact and will continue once the games start," Angus said. "They will only get better and better as the games go on."

Barr echoed praise of the new players.

"Last season, there were some girls who hadn't had experience," Barr said. "This [year], most of them are highly skilled with the stick."

DeLong, on the other hand, thinks the lack of a bench will result in a rough season.

"It just might be one of those struggling years. The schools we play against are weak academically. It's hard for us to compete," said DeLong, referring to Emerson's academic standards compared to other institutions in NEWLA.

DeLong said players at other schools can "miss classes and get more leniency," while Emerson's policy is ultimately left up to professors.

While the team has worked hard to get ready for its season, Emerson has not yet practiced with a full squad.

Angus said some players have other commitments that sometimes keep them from practicing.

DeLong added that it's difficult for players to miss training, but the squad will try to persevere.

"It's hard to get people to continually miss practice," DeLong said. "I don't know what we're going to do, but we'll think of something."