In the Locker Room: Alice Zicht and Lori Sako

Kirby Livingston

How long has it been since the team was this successful? Lori Sako: This has been our best start to a season since 1995 or 1996. Alice Zicht: We’re making herstory.

How have you dealt with the numerous coaching and personnel changes over the past few seasons?

AZ: The experience has really brought us together. We’re so much more of a family now. There is no divide between upperclassmen and underclassmen since [Head] Coach McDevitt and [Assistant] Coach Flego are new to all of us. We have learned that we play for each other and not our coaches. LS: [The changes have] made us a lot more mentally tough.

You’ve already won twice as many games as you won last year, and you’re guaranteed to go at least .500 this season. What is motivating the team to keep improving?

AZ: I think that we want to prove to ourselves that we deserve to win, whether it’s in practice, film, chalk talks, or lifting. It’s so much fun [to] watch ourselves grow. We never did hang cleans or power cleans or tested [our] bench or squat max before this year. On top of that, running timed 300 [meter sprints] and beating personal best [times] has shown the team that we’re capable of improving if we give the effort. LS: Everyone on our team has a chip on their shoulder. The [North Coast Athletic Conference] coaches voted Oberlin last in the conference in their preseason polls, so we’re using that disrespect to motivate us, particularly during conference play.

Your average goals per game has risen from 9.78 in 2011 to 13 this year, despite losing your leading scorer from last year, Grace Amber. To what do you credit this success?

AZ: I think that our plays are a big part [of the improvement]. We have much better chemistry. All of our attackers have confidence this year. LS: When a leading scorer goes abroad or graduates, other people step up. [Sophomore captain and Review writer] Phoebe [Hammer] is awesome; she has a great presence on the field, and she has really stepped up this year. [Sophomore] Sarah Andrews has also taken on more responsibility this season, and we’ve had [first-years] Bronwen [Schumacher] and Kate [Hanick] come in and do a lot for our offense.

Your opponents have also scored just over half the goals per game that they did last season.

LS: It helps a lot when your head coach was a defensive-minded player in college. She really helped us by going back to the fundamentals. We relearned how to play defense, starting with the basics, and it has really shown in our play this year. AZ: [Coach McDevitt] is a great defensive coach, and Coach Flego really helps the offense out. Although we don’t split up into offense and defense in practice, Coach McDevitt does most of the defensive coaching, and she does a great job.

First-year midfielder Kate Hanick leads your team in points, goals, man-up goals, shots, ground balls and caused turnovers. What impact has her arrival had on the team this season?

LS: She’s brought a lot of energy to the team. Freshmen often come in really excited,while sometimes upperclassmen can become jaded. AZ: Not only is Kate very talented, but she makes everyone around her better.

Yeowomen lacrosse has not won a conference game since 2007. Why is this the year that you can get back to winning conference games?

AZ: I think we’ve always had the ability, but we didn’t have the organization, discipline or the faith. I think our coaches believe in us and give us clear-cut direction. Seeing Coach [McDevitt] cry during our first loss of the season to Denison [University] showed me how invested she is, and it made me believe in myself more.