By River Plouffe Vogel, Sports Editor
The bad weather at the USM women’s lacrosse game on Tuesday, April 4, didn’t stop the team from continuing their victory streak. By any standard is was a miserable day for outside sports being freezing cold, rainy and having occasional thunder throughout the day. Yet for some spring athletes, it just comes with the territory, and a little weather just means playing a little harder and digging in a little deeper.
It takes a special mentality to overcome the cold, muscles take longer to warm up, hands and finger are stiff. Every part of the body wants to run for warmth, and in a sport like lacrosse, which is so physically demanding, even bumping bodies hurts a little more. However the energy and excitement coming from the Huskies on this day was contagious.
From the first face off, USM was all out, communicating, cheering and looking to score. That’s been this team’s approach to every game. They go out and play with more energy and more passion than their opponents. USM women’s lacrosse are currently 4-1 in their last five games, sitting at 5-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Scoring a total of 92 goals and assisting on 39 for the season. To top it all off, this team has zero seniors on it. In fact with a roster of 32 total players, there are only five juniors.
What this young team lacks in experience, they make up for us skill and athletic ability. In the first 20 minutes alone against Salem State, the Huskies jumped up 6-0, with goals from five different players. This speaks volumes for the depth of this young team.
Junior Colleen Fleming (South Portland, Maine), scored first at the 24:37 minute mark and almost exactly a minute later sophomore Allison Irish (Lyman, Maine/Massabesic) scored the second. With each goal the Huskies became more energized, clearly having fun in the process, which is another quality that makes this squad enjoyable to watch. Junior Aliza Jordan (Gorham, Maine), would be the next to score for USM, followed by sophomore Ruth Nadeau (Bath, Maine), and then Jordan again, all by the minute mark. Sophomore Taylor Colangelo (Windham, Maine) was the next Husky to score, then Jordan and Irish each added one more to make a score of 8-0 before the half was over.
The Salem State Vikings’ lone goal came from junior Chelsea Smith (Tewksbury, Mass.) with 4:36 left in the half, making it 8-1 after 30 minutes of play.
The Huskies started the second half the way they started the first, hot. Irish scored her third goal of the game at the 28:32 mark, and less than 30 seconds later Jordan got her fourth making it 10-1.
Jordan and Irish have been a dynamic duo for the huskies this year. The two have combined for 47 goals in 8 games, 25 coming for Jordan and 22 coming for Irish. The pair have proved impossible to stop on offense. Perhaps one of the best plays of the game was when Irish spun around one defender, and seamlessly scored in the process.
Salem State senior Courtney Smith (Peabody, Mass.) scored the second goal for the Vikings near the 21 minute into the second half, only to have USM rookie Alex Farley (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) score the 11 goal for the Huskies a minute later.
The game would continue scoreless until senior Bridget Lawless (Swampscott, Mass.) and sophomore Isabel Silva (Lowell, Mass.) scored for the Vikings with less than seven minutes to play. Now 11-4 with 3 minutes left, Jordan who had checked out of the game, return and literally in what seemed like the same moment she ran back out on the field, scored her fifth and final goal of the game.
First year head coach Ashley Durepo (UNH ‘09) is perhaps the only person who can match the energy of her team. She comes alive on the sidelines and it’s clear her intensity and passion helps fuel the teams excellent play. After the game her voice was rasp from shouting.
“Our defense has been huge for us, limiting good shot opportunities from the other team, and we need to take more care of possessions and if we can do that I’ll be happy, but I think that will come with more game experience,” said Durepo when asked about the keys to success for this young team.
In total, the huskies had 28 shots on goal, and limited the vikings to 19 shots. Junior goalie Hala Van Nostrand (Granby, Conn.) finished with eight saves. This young team’s energy and drive pays off on both sides of the field as they out hustle their opponents.
“It good for us to have two wins in a row under our belt, I think we sorta went back and forth with wins and when you have a young team, that can happen. We were able to put it all together, I think it was still a messy game because of the weather and not necessarily indicative of how well we can play,” remarked Durepo after the game.
Their next game is Wednesday, April 11, at Thomas College in Waterville Maine.