Florida was the spring training destination for the women’s lacrosse team again this year when the Yellowjackets took the week to prepare for the challenging season that awaits them.

This season the team has an interesting mix of players in terms of the breakdown by class with 7 seniors, 1 junior, 9 sophomores and 9 freshmen. Coach Andrea Golden is lucky that every senior is making a contribution this year, and they are stepping up to teach a young squad that will ultimately lead the team. This year the team is led by senior captains Jennifer Seferiadis, Lauren Mele and Cassie Meltzer.

Seferiadis has already seen tremendous improvement in the younger players on the team, especially the returning sophomores. Sophomore Stephanie Bristol is the starting goalie for the year, and has shown consistent progress in her play in net. In addition, sophomores Sam Krawitzky and Sarah Walker have improved tremendously over the past year and continue to impress Golden and the captains.

Golden used the week to begin blending the newer and older players on the team, and to utilize the depth in skill-level that she has.

“Depth is key for development to incorporate more players in games,” Golden said.

The Yellowjackets had the opportunity to put their skills to the test with scrimmages against Division I and Division III teams Temple, Philadelphia University, Connecticut College, Haverford, Bryn Mawr and future opponent Cortland. The early scrimmages served as a great warm-up to the first match of the season against Colorado College on Friday afternoon.

Knowing that the team had lost the first game of the season for the past three spring breaks, the squad came in ready to go and determined to get its first win of the season.

The Yellowjackets played in front of the Colorado goal for most of the first half, and led 6-4 at the half. They came out strong in the second half and extended the lead to four goals, but Colorado came back to narrow UR’s lead to one.

Bristol stepped up to the challenge in her first start in net to make key saves and help carry the team. UR held off Colorado and emerged with a 9-8 victory.

Senior Jess Lerman and sophomore Samantha Krawitzky each picked up their first three goals of the season, and seniors Mele, Jenny Rogers and Seferiadis each scored their first goals of the season. Bristol picked up her first win as the starting goalie and made 15 saves in the process.

The team earned a hard-fought win against Colorado and hopes to keep the momentum going for the rest of the season. Golden hopes to see the team become a contender for the UCAA conference championship, which would ultimately lead to an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, and she is confident this team can come together to accomplish this goal.

In their schedule this season, the Yellowjackets will play five nationally ranked teams, inside and outside of their conference, giving them one of the toughest schedules in their league.

UR will play at Cortland this Thursday, and will play its home opener at Fauver Stadium when they face Ithaca at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Yellowjackets have defeated Ithaca the past three seasons, but the Bombers will be looking for their fourth win of the season when they take on UR.

Ayub can be reached at aayub@campustimes.org.

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