After eight out of 11 starters graduated in 2009, the women’s lacrosse team knew that this year was going to be a time of rebuilding.

This past week brought the challenge of opponents like Union and Skidmore Colleges, but the Yellowjackets were able to look beyond the scoreboard. Instead, they focused on the opportunity that the games gave them to play and grow as a team.

‘Rebuilding our team has given us a lot of good to focus on,” junior defender Margaret Stevenson and sophomore attacker Niki Holmes said in an e-mail. ‘We have a lot of speed, a pretty cohesive defense and a lot of girls who can take a pretty mean shot.”

Some of those shots were seen in the game against Skidmore on Saturday, April 17. Senior midfielders Amanda Case and Danielle Mondro each scored two goals on the Thoroughbreds as the ‘Jackets fought back against Skidmore’s initial goals. Freshman midfielder Liza Maizel, junior midfielder Carly Williams and Stevenson brought the team’s total to seven goals, as the game ended 7-17.

‘For the most part, we are a young team with two seniors, a whole new set of starters and we’re still learning to play together as a unit,” Mondro said. ‘Unfortunately, only the wins and losses are published, not the small daily successes we see in practice and from game to game, and most importantly we’re having fun together.”

The small successes are what the team needs to keep in mind for next season, after having a year of playing together under their belts.

But the ‘Jackets already know this, and are building up their excitement and confidence for their upcoming home games against William Smith College on Friday, April 23, and Hamilton College on the following day.

‘Our schedule has a lot of the top teams in the nation on it, which [has been] tough, but it makes us better and keeps us from becoming complacent,” Stevenson and Holmes said. ‘We’ll fight through the end of the season and will continue to make strides as we head into our off season and prepare for next year.”

Amanda Case will graduate this year knowing that her team has overcome struggles and has improved on working together this year.

‘I believe that next year will be much better because most of the team has seen playing time this year, due to frequent substitutions,” she said. ‘With a year of adjustment, the team should be ready to hit the ground running next spring.”

With the Liberty League Championships and the season wrapping up soon, the women will continue to build upon the foundations that they forged in previous seasons.

Olfano is a member ofthe class of 2012.

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