Lacrosse Wins Against UMass-Dartmouth, St. Josephs
Team Record Improves to 9-7, Propelling Pioneers to First Season Above 0.500 Since 1999
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 20:04
This past week once again saw the lacrosse team in full form, as they played matches against Springfield College, UMass-Dartmouth and St. Josephs. While the week had a rough start with the Pioneers losing 21-8 to Springfield, the team picked up with 20-8 and 15-12 victories against UMass-Dartmouth and St. Josephs, respectively.
On April 17, the match against Springfield kicked off with Meaghen Fileti ’12 scoring a goal within the first 20 seconds. Becky Bracken ’14 scored three goals for the Pioneers, passing 50 goals for the season. Jenny Estes ’15 scored three goals for Smith, but Springfield maintained its lead throughout the match.
This match brought the Pioneers to the fifth position in the NEWMAC tournament, and 7-7 overall.
“It was a tough game [against Springfield],” said Head Coach Jennifer Nardi. “While we did not come up with the win, it ultimately had no effect on our post-season hopes. Fortunately, having beat MIT and Mount Holyoke earlier in the season, we secured our spot in post-season play.”
The match against UMass-Dartmouth started off with MK Pasini ’12 scoring in the first 18 seconds of the game. Although UMass-Dartmouth took the lead for a period of time, goals from Jessica Lilliquist ’15, Fileti, Mackenzie Hessel ’15, Bracken and Passini helped the Pioneers to end the first half with a lead of 14-5. From here on, the Pioneers never looked back as their lead continued throughout the second half of the game. The highest scorers in the game were Fileti and Lilliquist, who both scored five goals. The game took Smith to 8-7 overall and also ensured the Pioneers their first season at 0.500 since 1999.
“We came out strong against UMass-Dartmouth, with strong offensive performances from Hessel, Bracken, Fileti, Jess Lilquist, MK Pasini and Jenny Estes,” Nardi said.
Before the final game against St. Joseph’s College, seniors Fileti, Pasini and Nahknikian-Weintraub were honored for their effort and contribution to Smith’s lacrosse team over the past four years. Hessel’s first goal, which was the first goal scored in the game, was her 50th goal this season. She, Bracken and Fileti are the only players to have scored 50 goals this season.
“What needs to be highlighted is the incredible success of how Jen Nardi and Kaillie Briscoe have completely changed the program for the better. I would have never achieved this accomplishment without the help of my teammates and coaches,” Bracken said. “The team’s success is heavily attributed to the new coaching staff. They came to Smith with optimistic ambitions and were able to see the talent in each individual member and then successfully formed us into a team. Nardi and KB created a different atmosphere for our team that is a combination of hard work and enjoyment of the sport.”
Smith gained a 7-5 lead in the first half of the match with help from Hessel, Bracken and Estes. Both teams scored goals in the second half, but the Pioneers maintained their lead with goals by Pasini, Adrienne Horne ’14 and Weintraub. Alina Pechacek ’13 played her best in this match, saving 13 goals from the opponent. Fileti and Hessel scored four goals each. This match took Smith to 9-7 overall.
Nardi described the match as “by far our strongest defensive effort to date. Sofia Nahkninian-Weintraub and Kate Detrick both had an outstanding game. Alina Pechacek came up big in the net for us.”
As Bracken put it, “What makes us work so well together is that we truly are a team, not simply a collection of individuals. Each game, we pick a different person on the team who we try to work extra hard for and also provide more encouragement to. This reminds us that we are a team, and what we are doing out on the field is for something bigger than just for ourselves.”