With three conference games left on the schedule, the women’s lacrosse team has already matched its conference win total from last season. The Lions are currently 6-4 overall, with a 2-3 record in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference—good for the fifth spot in the rankings—but still have their toughest opponents to come.
Head coach Kathryn Egizi, in her first season with the Lions, said the team’s defense has been “unstoppable.”
“[We’re] playing so solid as a unit,” said Egizi. “It’s a very young and inexperienced group playing defense, but they have really clicked, and that’s been huge for us.”
Emerson leads all of Division III women’s lacrosse in save percentage at 55.2 percent. The team is ranked fourth out of nine in goals scored per game, but Egizi said she still sees room for improvement in the offense.
“We’re still developing, but one of our greatest strengths is our ability to connect with each other,” she said. “We’re pretty unscoutable [on offense] because we’re not running very concrete plays.”
One of the team’s most recent losses was a 15-8 defeat to conference foe Babson College, which Emerson beat last season 8-5.
Junior midfielder Tayllar Righini said her team played too timidly in the first half.
“I hate to say it, but we’re a second-half team,” said the communication disorders major. “Game on the line, we have to work hard.”
Though the Beavers outscored the Lions 8-3 in the first 30 minutes, Emerson was outscored just 7-5 in the second half.
“That says a lot about a team, that they can be down by a significant margin, but we fought back until the very last second,” said Egizi, who said sloppy turnovers made the difference for the Lions.
The team’s remaining three NEWMAC games will be tough, according to Egizi and Righini.
Emerson is scheduled to face Wellesley College—where Egizi was the assistant coach last year—and Massachusetts Institute of Technology next week, in what Egizi said are the two biggest matchups for Emerson this year. The Lions lost to both teams last season by a margin of four goals or fewer each time.
“I think if we go into all our upcoming games with confidence and having the mindset we can play with anyone, it will help us a lot,” said Righini.
The Lions will close out their schedule with perhaps their biggest test of the season against nationally-ranked Springfield College.
Springfield (10-2 overall, 4-0 in conference) has won the NEWMAC championship in two of the last three years, and also beat Emerson 21-6 last year—the team’s worst loss of the season.
“We need to be prepared, and that’s on me,” said Egizi. “But it’s on the team to walk in believing that we can win, but knowing what needs to be done to do that.”