Women’s lacrosse continues to improve in spite recent losses
After disappointing losses against Guelph and Laurier, the women’s lacrosse team looks to bounce back in coming games
On Sept. 10, the McMaster University women’s lacrosse team kicked their season off with a tournament style weekend which saw the Marauders take on the University of Guelph Gryphons and the Laurier University Golden Hawks in Guelph. Despite a strong showing, the team lost both games.
In their first game against Guelph, the Marauders lost with a score of 7-12. The second game of the day against Laurier saw them lose 6-15.
While these results may cause distress, the team is encouraged by their growth so far this season.
One major case of the team’s growth has been second-year player Lexi Sheppard. After a scoreless first season, Sheppard was able to bag four goals in her first weekend for the Marauders, earning her Athlete of the Week honours on Sept. 12.
Sheppard attributes her progress and the progress of the team to support from the university and positive leaders on the field. This year, McMaster also allowed the team to access field time much earlier before the regular season began.
“It was definitely way better than last year because we got way more field time beforehand, so we were able to work as a team more. Whereas last year [the season] was more rushed and we were pushed into it,” said Sheppard.
With women’s lacrosse being an Ontario University Athletics team, there can be many instances of athletes lacking access to facilities and services; such as the school’s High-Performance area, sports medicine services, and outdoor field space. OUA athletes do not usually get first choice access to these services, in comparison with McMaster U Sports teams. However, it seems like the increase in practice is helping the team to build.
“I definitely see us to be building to become a better team with the support of the school,” said Sheppard.
Another driving factor towards growth in the team has been the team captains. Both of this year’s captains, second-year Annika Perrino and fourth-year Cassidy Anyon, have caused a dynamic shift in the team with their presence.
“Definitely what's helping our team are the captains on the team. They really lead by example well and they’re a good positive influence. They make everyone feel comfortable to try even if they’re nervous,” said Sheppard.
Sheppard also attributed their improvements to the positivity and comfort encouraged by Perrino and Anyon.
“My teammates make me comfortable in trying new things. Last year I was kind of shy and didn’t want to be in anyone’s way, but this year they’ve done a good job of making it a comfortable space and causing me to not be afraid to go for it,” said Sheppard.
While the team is evidently growing and becoming better, there is some room for improvement.
The scores indicate that the team especially has space to improve defensively.
“We could work on communicating on defense and making it tighter so you’re always there to support someone. . .Moving forward [the team will be] just working on more of our defensive unit and our team play all around,” explained Sheppard.
If the Marauders can make this improvement defensively and quickly, they will likely be able to improve throughout the season. Combined with the growth of a positive team culture, this might be able to spur the team on for seasons to come.