Scoring Uptick Highlights Season Goals for Yeowomen


Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

Senior Natalie Rauchle readies herself in the Yeowomen’s 16–5 loss to the John Carroll University Lobos on March 24. She earned NCAC Player of the Week this week, in part because of her eight-goal performance against the Wittenberg University Tigers.

The women’s lacrosse team fell to the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders 13–7 Wednesday evening. After losing in the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship game last year, the Yeowomen have lofty expectations this season. Despite Wednesday’s loss, they’ve also largely delivered thus far, winning their first conference game against the Wittenberg University Tigers 18–15 Saturday following a two-game road trip to Colorado College.

“We have big goals [for this season],” Head Coach Lynda McCandlish said. “But the big goals are accomplished by working on the small goals and working on the small things that we do every day.”

The Yeowomen offense could not get into rhythm on Wednesday, falling behind 5–1 by halftime and allowing the Purple Raiders to coast to victory. Senior Natalie Rauchle, who was named NCAC Player of the Week Monday, only managed to score one goal due to an intense face-guard, and the Yeowomen coughed up a season-high 36 turnovers to the Purple Raiders’ defense. Sophomore Eliza Amber was the only Yeowoman who ignited the offense, scoring four goals by the end of the game.

On the other side of the field, junior goalie Siena Marcelle led an impressive defensive effort. Marcelle recorded 16 saves and held the Purple Raiders — who currently lead the country in average goals per game with 22.86 — to their season-low of just 13 goals.

Amber, who figured the explosive Mount Union offense would greatly test the Yeowomen, said she was happy with her team’s performance but thinks they lack consistency.

“We were really pumped up,” Amber said. “We knew they were going to be good. A lot of that game looked really good. Getting all the pieces together is all that we needed. We definitely have the skills to [win], but we have to make the whole game instead of little bits. It was such a bummer to lose, but it was a good experience to learn. It was a good game, and people played hard.”

In their first conference game of the season, the Yeowomen were able to beat the Wittenberg Tigers 19–14 in a shootout. The Yeowomen offense came out hot, as Rauchle scored her first of eight goals in just the second minute of the match. The teams were locked in by the halftime, with the Yeowomen leading just 9–7, but Oberlin cushioned its lead with four consecutive goals to start the half.

However, the Tigers responded with five straight of their own, making the game 13–12 for the Yeowomen. With just seven minutes remaining, the Yeowomen stretched out their one-goal lead with another scoring outburst of five straight goals, ultimately sealing the game.

In Colorado, the Yeowomen dropped their first game in a heart-breaker to the Colorado College Tigers. After leading 8–4 at the half, the Yeowomen lost the lead in a string of five consecutive goals by Colorado College, bringing the score to 11–10. After trading goals, the Tigers separated from the Yeowomen with just seven minutes remaining, winning 15–13. However, they quickly bounced back, blowing out the Hamline University Pipers 18–7 just a few days later.

“We prepared for the Colorado trip and the games the same way we prepare for all of our other games,” McCandlish said, “We try to know a lot about the other team and, in practice, focus on things we know we need to improve. Hopefully we are more fit than we were before the trip [after] working out in all of that altitude.”

The Yeowomen will next face off against the Heidelberg University Student Princes tomorrow on Bailey Field at 1 p.m.

“[We take our season] game by game,” sophomore Laila Telles said. “We don’t think about our past, and we acknowledge that any team has a likelihood of winning or losing this game despite their past record or perceived skill.”