April 8, 2004

Freshmen Prove Valuable for W. Lacrosse

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After fielding senior-laden teams the past few seasons, the women’s lacrosse team entered this year with one of the youngest squads ever coached by Jenny Graap ’86. The 10 members of the class of 2007 outnumber the seniors and juniors combined, and they have already become key contributors on the field. The newcomers have gelled into a cohesive unit, and have made the jump to the college game with ease.

“We spend a lot of time together off the field. We go to dinner after practice, and we kind of just bonded, which really helped with our chemistry on the field,” said freshman Lindsey Moore.

Moore got off to a quick start at the beginning of the season, scoring two goals in her collegiate debut in the team’s first game against Georgetown. This was the first time a freshman scored two goals in her first match since 2001. Classmate Margaux Viola started the game against the Hoyas, and three other freshmen saw playing time in the game as well.

“I was really nervous, I remember lining up for the national anthem, and it felt so much more important than a high school game,” said Viola.

Moore echoed those sentiments about their first game.

“I think there’s a lot more to think about when you’re on the field. I know I was subbing in for the two co-captains, and I think those are really big shoes to fill, and I was kind of nervous about that,” she said.

Despite their nerves, Moore and Viola have shined so far this season. Moore has netted seven goals and three helpers, while Viola has three goals and two assists.

The rest of the freshmen have been getting into the act as well. Freshmen Anne Riordan and Ashleigh Smith both started last week against Princeton, and Smith has started in six of the team’s eight games. Riordan is the fastest player on the squad, and her speed will help her excel in the midfield, while Smith’s stickwork and positioning will be an asset for the team’s defensive unit.

Three members of the class of 2007 were already very familiar with each other when they came to the East Hill in the fall. Moore, Colleen O’Hara, and Kendall Tupper were teammates at West Genesee High School, which is the three-time defending New York State champion. O’Hara is rebounding from tearing her ACL during her senior year and has yet to see playing time this season, but Tupper has been involved in six games in the backfield.

“I know how they play, they know how I play, so we already have an advantage. We can look for each other on the field because we already have that bond,” Moore said.

But as good as these freshmen have proved to be, the team’s upperclassmen have played a pivotal role in the helping them adjust to the college game and college life off the field.

“The best part about the team is the girls, I can’t imagine Cornell without them. [Jaime Quinn] and Kate [Hirschfield] are incredible captains who lead by example on and off the field. All the upperclassmen are amazing and they’ve helped to make this year as great as it is,” Smith said.

While the team’s record has not been what it was in past seasons, the freshmen have benefited from the playing time they’ve seen, and will only continue to improve throughout this year and beyond.

“The record doesn’t look so good right now, but I think there’s still a chance to turn the season around. We can definitely make it better, I think we have the potential,” Viola said “We might be a young team, but that’s not really an excuse, and I think that we’ve started to see it, like in our game at Princeton. We started to see people do things that we hadn’t seen before, and I think we can build on that.”

Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer