Yeowomen Aim High for NCAC
The women’s lacrosse team is on a roll this week, securing two crucial conference wins: one at home Saturday against the Kenyon College Ladies and another Tuesday against the Hiram College Terriers.
Saturday’s win against Kenyon was one for the books. Oberlin came out strong and finished the first half on top at 9–6. The Ladies held the Yeowomen 3–3 for a stretch, but once Oberlin broke out on a five-goal streak with contributions from senior captain Grace Barlow, junior Sloane Garelick and first-year Hayley Drapkin, Kenyon wasn’t able to make up the difference. Even the Ladies’ three-goal response was tempered by another goal from sophomore Natalie Rauchle before the halftime whistle blew.
The Yeowomen held onto an insecure lead for the remainder of the game, but when Kenyon tied the score at 12 with just a few minutes to go, Oberlin solidified the win with goals from Rauchle and juniors Marissa Maxfield and Maggie Mullard.
Sophomore goalkeeper Alexa L’Insalata gave solid support to the defense, playing a full 60 minutes and recording nine saves.
Maxfield said the win was satisfying as a team-wide effort and confirmed that the Yeowomen are real conference contenders this season. “This was a neck-and-neck game for the most part until we finally pulled ahead and played like the team we know we are,” Maxfield said. “It was a great victory and full team effort.”
Three days later, the Yeowomen hit the road and traveled to Hiram, Ohio, to challenge the Terriers in their sixth conference contest of the season. Once again, the Yeowomen started strong by racking up 11 goals in the first half, including a hat trick from Mullard and four goals each from top scorers Barlow and Rauchle. If the Terriers hadn’t slipped in a goal just before the half, the Yeowomen would have entered halftime with an 11-goal shut-out.
Drapkin said the Yeowomen’s high-powered offense is further evidence of the team’s potential. “This was the kind of playing that reminds us what kind of team we can be,” Drapkin said.
First-year Siena Marcelle also saw some action defending the Yeowomen’s goal, making three crucial saves to assist the Yeowomen’s 17–6 win against Hiram.
Head Coach Pamella Jenkins commended her team’s performance, saying, “Everyone stepping up has been a joy to watch this season.”
Oberlin also saw strong performances from junior Hannah Heinke-Green, and sophomore Sarah Conner, who chipped in two goals each, and Drapkin, who ended the game with a final goal for the Yeowomen with just 1 minute, 15 seconds left.
As the team approaches the final few weeks of its season, conference play is overshadowed by the memory of last year’s heart-wrenching 14–7 loss to Denison University in the 2015 North Coast Athletic Conference championship game. Rather than dwelling on the past, the team has utilized last year’s loss as a driving force to propel Oberlin to the conference tournament once again.
Maxfield has high hopes for the Yeowomen’s conference performance this season.
“A few more conference games next weekend should hopefully secure our spot in the playoffs,” Maxfield said. “We’re just playing our game and putting all of our effort into these last few weeks.”
This level of success is not an easy feat. The team has lost numerous key players to injuries, and Maxfield cited the team’s mentality when it doesn’t win big as being a potential hurdle in the future. “[We tend to] get down on ourselves when things aren’t going our way,” she said.
Senior defender Taylor Swift said that, based on the team’s upward trajectory, the Yeowomen’s future for 2016 looks bright. “We’re building off of our games and continuing to get better,” Swift said. “The rest of this year could mean really big things for us.”
The Yeowomen look to build off of their win on Saturday, when they travel to Pepper Pike, Ohio to take on the Ursuline College Arrows.