It was a warm Sunday morning at Washburn Field. The stands were filled with fans and for six senior girls on the lacrosse team, this would be their last time competing at home as a Colorado College Tiger. Energy was running high, and with weeks of intense practices focused on eliminating errors and playing both stellar defense and offense leading up to this game, the women’s lacrosse team was prepared to show Redlands University just what they were capable of.
The team certainly delivered. After 60 minutes of what Head Coach Susan Stuart refers to as the most complete game the girls had played this season, the Tigers dominated Redlands University with a final score of 20-7.
Senior midfielder Dylan Voneiff, who completely shut down Redlands’ top scorer during Sunday’s game, was proud of her team after their big win.
“Our coach gives us a mission before every game,” said Voneiff. “This game’s mission was to compete for all 60 minutes.”
According to freshman defender Julia Tarantino, the team was focused on their mentality and making offensive plays. “We practiced new offensive plays in order to create a more dynamic attack,” she said. “We also focused on how individually we were going to achieve our goal of winning by preparing ourselves however we thought would work best.”
Coach Stuart emphasized the importance of both a strong offense and a strong defense, which is why the team was so successful on Sunday. “We had many different people contributing on the scoring end; the defense kept coming up and making big plays time and time again,” said Stuart. “This had been a big focus so it’s nice to see it all happening on the same day.”
This win was very exciting for the team. “It is a very surreal feeling,” said Voneiff. “We have had a lot of highs and lows at home, and I don’t think our last game could have ended any better than it did. I think our team is finally aware of what we can accomplish when we play a full 60 minutes working together and backing each other up.”
Nick Carpenter, a freshman on the men’s lacrosse team, was very impressed with the girls’ level of play. “They really brought it against Redlands, who by all accounts is a very good team,” Carpenter said. “The seniors really seemed to take charge and lead the game, from clutch defensive play to a dominant performance on ground balls and goals throughout the game. I was impressed.” The entire men’s lacrosse team came out to support their fellow Tigers, which amped up their energy to win even more.
“It’s always more fun when we have a good crowd,” Coach Stuart said. “The men’s lacrosse team was great to come and cheer [the girls] on.”
Voneiff notes that the energy at home games in the locker room and during warm-up is one of the greatest things to be apart of. “When you are away you are in a strange locker room, without your music, getting ready for a game against the other team’s fans,” she said. “At home before a good team there is definitely more of a focus on playing for pride in front of your peers.”
Although the team still has four games left this season, Sunday was an emotional day, according to Tarantino. “[The seniors] were more thankful and proud than they were sad because we all acknowledged their leadership and dedication to the team for the past four years,” Tarantino said. This win boosted the team’s confidence, and the Tigers are poised to finish their season stronger than ever before.