Wheaton women’s lacrosse aims to defend 2014 NEWMAC glory

Building off a 2014 NEWMAC Championship and a run in the NCAA Tournament that reached the second round, the Wheaton women’s lacrosse team is hoping to continue with both their conference success and NCAA success this 2015 season.

The Lyons concluded their last season with a deserving first seed in the NEWMAC tournament that lead to a 15-5 blowout against MIT in the conference semifinal and a close 8-5 win over conference rivals Babson in the championship game. The conference title gave the Lyons an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament where they would defeat Emerson College in the first round but fall short to New England powerhouse Williams in the second round.

Starting off their 2015 campaign with two important non-conference wins at home against Gordon and Salve Regina, the Lyons set a winning pace they strived to maintain for the rest of the year. However, a series of games would postpone further wins. The Lyons dropped their third game to Wesleyan in a nail biter that finished with an 8-7 score line and followed with three straight losses against Tufts, Trinity, and then Endicott in double overtime.

“Over break we faced two tough opponents in Trinity and Tufts,” said junior Madison Cohen ’16. “We learned a lot from playing those types of teams and the tough games have definitely made us a better team.”

The team recently traveled to Becket Corners YMCA camp in the Berkshires for some team bonding after the tough NESCAC losses to Tufts and Trinity. “Like I said, those games really pushed us to become better and the team trip without a doubt brought us closer and definitely gives us an advantage going forward,” said Cohen.

After break the Lyons would return to their winning ways with wins at Roger Williams, 11-8, and then a blowout win this past Saturday against Bridgewater State, 19-8. The team currently has a 4-4 record going into their first home conference game against Smith at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.

“Now that we got out of our rut, we’re ready to prove how good we are going forward,” said sophomore Jo Bishop ’17. “We’re really confident in our zone defense and look forward to the upcoming NEWMAC play. This is really where we need to start showing our true colors.”

The team has goals of defending their NEWMAC glory from the previous season where they ended conference play with a perfect 7-0 undefeated record. “We have a title to defend and the ball is in our court,” said Bishop. “We plan on repeating if not improving on the season we had last year.”

The difficult task of going undefeated in the conference regular and post season for the second year in a row will certainly require immense efforts from the Lyons. With fellow NEWMAC teams lurking to avenge themselves from last year’s results, the blue and white will have to be ready for some more competitive games this season.