By Zachary Fletcher
While many chose to spend their spring break resting and relaxing in the sun, Logger athletes had different ideas about how to spend their one-week hiatus from school. The women’s lacrosse team got their share of sun, but their break was also full of hard work. With two hard-fought games and two wins, the Loggers took full advantage of their break from school to play hard and earn victories.
“Traveling to Texas was a blast; the spring break trips always are. We loved playing games in the sun, and we came away with two great wins,” senior Haley Schuster (Arvada, Colorado) said.
Many of the players praised their spring break experience, and noted the different playing condition of the Lone Star State. “Texas is a hot, humid place, a climate we are definitely not accustomed to playing in,” junior Roxanne Krietzman (Minnetonka, Minnesota) said. “That being said, we prepared really well. Not just with sunscreen and a lot of water, but also with good mental attitudes.”
The players also spoke to the different opponent opportunities had while playing in Texas. “The Texas trip was good for us, I believe. We had a chance to play two teams we usually wouldn’t and it helped us recognize some areas we need to work on and strengthen for our upcoming conference games,” first-year student Ally Benko (Livermore, California) said. “Texas was fun and it was great to get experience playing other teams that we usually don’t get to. It’s good practice for future NWC [Northwest Conference] games,” senior Haley Shoemaker (Portland, Oregon) added.
Head coach Carrie Sabochik spoke to The Trail about how the Texas trip impacts the rest of the season.
“Getting two wins in a row on the road is a great morale boost as we head into the second half of our season,” she said. The common idea held between all the players and their mindsets heading into the rest of the season had to do with conference play. Additionally, with the additions of Willamette to the conference in 2018 and Whitworth in 2019, the competition and quality of play in NWC lacrosse field is sure to go up.
But that doesn’t stop the team from relying on one another, building on each other’s skills, and focusing on senior experience to lead the squad. “We aren’t together only on the field, but off the field as well and it gives a very welcoming vibe when everyone is able to work together and be compatible,” Benko said.
“I am able to learn more about my teammates’ playing styles: how they like to catch, how they like to throw, and how I can assist them in the best possible way on the field,” Krietzman said.
“This year’s team is unique because we have a large senior class — with five seniors on the field we have a lot of leadership and skill,” Coach Sabochik said. “Those players are able to really help provide guidance and cohesion with the younger players.” With a successful spring break trip and community-oriented mindset heading into the rest of the season, the team and their coach look to towards the future of the women’s lacrosse program with optimism and positivity.
As a first-year student and recent NWC defensive player of the week, Benko sees the future of Puget Sound lacrosse as on the up and up: “The future looks pretty bright, I think. We don’t have many underclassmen, but I think we all hold promise and will only get better in time.” As a senior, Schuster appreciates her time in the program and looks forward to the programs’ future success. “I think we will continue to thrive and rise to each of those challenges, though! The program will only build from here.”
As the coach, Sabochik looks toward the changing conference and its effect on Puget Sound lacrosse. “With new teams, the conference will continue to get stronger and grow and Puget Sound is ready to be competitive as the conference grows.” Spring break can be a time to zone out, sit back, and let the world pass you by. But for the lacrosse team, this break was full of hard work, quality play and successful outings. Whether in the blaring sun of Texas, or the rainy cold of the Pacific Northwest, the Logger women’s lacrosse team flourishes on the field and will only continue to get better as the seasons progress.