April 3, 2009

Women’s Lacrosse Looks to Snap Skid

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After taking six straight wins to open the season, women’s lacrosse has fallen on a losing skid. The team has lost three in a row, the last two to Ancient Eight rivals Princeton and Penn. This weekend, the team heads to Hanover, N.H., for a match against No. 15 Dartmouth.
The Red has fallen in the lacrosse rankings after being rated as high as 14th in the preseason. The team has fallen to 19 in the polls while closer to 27th in the power rankings. The young team has been showing some of its inexperience recently, having a tough time against the nationally ranked teams on its schedule.
In its match against the Tigers, the Red was outplayed in a 8-15 thrashing. No. 7 Princeton, with experience and age on its side, found a way through the Red defense. Dartmouth is ranked right below Princeton in the power rankings and will likely play a similar game to the Tigers. The Red will have to show that it has learned from its loss against Princeton if there is to be any hope for an upset at Dartmouth.
The Red has been relying heavily on a few key players such as freshman Jessi Steinberg, sophomore Libby Johnson and senior Jess Wiegand. The youthful team will need more underclassmen to step up to the plate as the season wears on. The offensive unit of Steinberg and Johnson has scored 30 percent of the Red’s goals thus far, and notched 36 percent of its points.
In last year’s contest with the Green, the Red was able to come out on top in a tight 10-9 victory. However, last year’s team was comprised of a large upperclassmen unit who was integral in the Red’s success. Wiegand, Johnson and Steinberg will need support from the bench and from other members of the Red if they are to put the Green on the run again this year. [img_assist|nid=36533|title=Catch me if you can|desc=Senior Deirdre Lafferty (7) takes the ball down the field in a matchup against Colgate on Feb. 25. The Red has lost three in a row.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The hardest time for a team to win is when it’s on a losing streak. The loss to Princeton was due to a late break in the game, and the key to the Red’s success will be to hold off these kinds of runs. The team will need to hold strong through the rest of the season if it hopes to maintain its national ranking and maintain its status as a contender in the Ivy League. The Red currently sits at sixth in the Ancient Eight, far lower than its finish last year.
With more tough matches on the horizon, this weekend’s match against Dartmouth is a great chance for the Red to turn its season around. The Red will face Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Saturday at 1 p.m.