For Women’s Lax, First Win is Sweet
by Ian Haynes

The Oberlin College women’s lacrosse team got their first taste of victory as they defeated the University of Puget Sound (Wash.) 8-2 to close out their spring break trip, after a season-opening loss to Indiana University of Pennsylvania and two losses in California. The win, and a loss at Denison this past Wednesday, moved Oberlin’s record to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

“I think that our team really gelled in that game because at the beginning of the week, we had a couple of rough games. After having lost a couple of strong players, with newcomers playing new positions, we played extremely well,” senior Laura Kent-Monning said of the team’s victory at the University of Puget Sound.

With a young and relatively inexperienced team, the Yeowomen have relied on an array of underclassmen to support the two sole upperclassmen, Kent-Monning and junior Briana Quinn. Sophomore Maggie Douglas and first-year Anna Ialeggio have provided much needed scoring while sophomore Alexis Stoller, the goalkeeper last season, has been asked to move out of the net and help man the defense. First-year Sarah Pilzer has stepped into goal and played every minute in the first five games.

The Yeowomen traveled to neighboring Pennsylvania to take on Division II opponent IUP on March 16. Oberlin fell in the season opener 19-6, but the game did have its bright spots. After a first half in which many of the first-years undoubtedly had butterflies in their stomachs, the Yeowomen came out and played a solid second half. Senior Selena Kansal, who is no longer with the team, scored the only goal for the Yeowomen in the first half. In the second half, though, Ialeggio got the scoring started for Oberlin with her first collegiate goal. Douglas followed with two more goals before first-year Victoria Clark got in on the action with her first goal. Douglas added one more goal to end the Yeowomen’s scoring. Pilzer recorded 27 saves in her first game in goal for Oberlin.

On March 24, the Yeowomen battled Whittier University in the first game of their California spring break trip. Oberlin fell in a heart breaker 5-4. After taking a 3-2 lead into the half, the Yeowomen managed just one goal in the second half. Douglas scored a goal and had an assist while Ialeggio scored her second goal of the season. Kent-Monning and Quinn both scored a goal in the loss. In the net, Pilzer tallied 13 saves.
Two days later on March 26, Oberlin took on host school, the University of Redlands. The Yeowomen managed just three goals in the game, falling 12-3. Scoring for Oberlin were Kent-Monning, Douglas and Clark. Pilzer had 16 saves in the game.

In their last game in California the Yeowomen took on University of Puget Sound from Washington State. The Yeowomen easily handled their opponents, winning by a score of 8-2. Kent-Monning played an outstanding game, scoring four of Oberlin’s eight goals. Ialeggio tossed in two goals while Clark and Douglas each added one. Quinn racked up an assist on Kent-Monning’s last goal. Pilzer stopped 17 shots in goal while holding Puget Sound to a mere two goals.

“After the two losses, it was really good how we rallied together as a team to get the win before coming back to Oberlin,” Quinn said. “Everyone played well, especially with it being such a young team.”

Most recently, the Yeowomen traveled to Denison to compete in their first NCAC game. After a competitive first half with the Big Red, Oberlin struggled in the latter half, finally falling 12-4. Ialeggio again scored two goals for the Yeowomen while Kent-Monning and Douglas each added one. Clark and Ialeggio each had one assist in the game. Pilzer stopped 15 shots in the loss.

Douglas is the leader in points scored through the first five games with eight. Kent-Monning and Ialeggio each have seven. Douglas and Kent-Monning are tied for the lead in goals with seven while Ialeggio has six and Clark has three. Pilzer has 88 saves on the season and a .638 save percentage. First-year Andrea Hawkins leads in ground balls controlled with 15 followed by Stoller with 13 and Quinn with 12.
Sophomores Chelsea Wallis and Susie Armitage and first-years Annie Gaus, Allison Evans, and Yukiko Shishikura have contributed high minute totals for the Yeowomen.

The team will take on Wittenberg in Springfield, Ohio this Saturday.

Channing Joseph contributed to this report.

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