WINCHESTER, Va. – Sophomore Nakona Wolfe is in her first year as the blogger for the women's lacrosse program. This week, in her second blog of the season, she recaps the opening month of the season.
Well ladies and gentlemen, the Hornets are finally back in action for the season! Let me tell you, it feels so good to be back with the women, working hard every day in the classroom and on the field. This season has a been a long time coming and we have been patiently waiting to get it started.
Over the course of our Christmas break we trained every day with a strength and conditioning packet from strength coach Brett Sabol and a stick work routine that we would be tested on when preseason rolled around. Now in case you did not know, I am from New York and it had snowed all December and January where I live. This meant the field (and the track surrounding it) was covered and there was no access to either. But just like the girls in Pennsylvania and Sidney VanTuyl (my fellow New Yorker) who may have run into the same issue (ha! Run into the same issue…) we made it work.
One of the cool things that helped was the communication plan our coaches set up. They asked us to communicate with each other every day in some way, so everyone had a day that we picked and shared something inspiring with everyone else to push us through those hard days of training by yourself.
We got back to school on January 15th and the 16th, we were back in action with doing a community service project with the group Stop Hunger Now. We were in charge of setting up the event. It was really cool to set it up and then learn a little about what the group does; it felt good to be a part of something that gives back to the less fortunate. This year we have been doing a lot of community service, it is not only exciting but makes you really appreciate having the privilege to play lacrosse. The rest of the week was filled with a few captains practices run by our lovely captains Brittany Arndt, Abby Zorrilla and Jacque Helmer, to get us going before the coaches saw us. This week we also did our wall ball test - 300 passes and catches in all sorts of ways in under nine minutes. Stick skills are a critical part of the game so it is a must to be able to pass this test.
We endured four weeks of preseason after that first week. We had some warm days, some cold days, some off days and a bunch of really good days. We all worked really hard in these four weeks to prepare for our season. We did a bunch of conditioning which, let's be real here, this is something every athlete, except maybe track and cross country, despises. Even Brittany (Arndt), who can run like the wind, does and I quote, "Just because I am good at it does not mean I like it."
Ed. Note: See that same thought in Brittany's senior bio tomorrow on www.suhornets.com.
We went back to the basics and focused a lot on the fundamentals of lacrosse in the first two weeks of practice which was good, we got to slow things down and really focus on these aspects. As the days approached to our first scrimmage, we worked on our chemistry and our fluidity. FINALLY, a chance to play another team. We worked on some sets and our motion, the type of defense we would run and so much more. Our scrimmage was against McDaniel College in Maryland. For the freshmen, it was their first college game so it was good to get the jitters out, not only for them but for everyone. The scrimmage definitely pointed out things that we needed to work on for the next three practices before we were back in action.
On Wednesday we faced a tough team from the University of Mary Washington. This was it - the moment we had all be waiting for - the first game and our season opener at home to boot! Intense warm ups, encouragement from your stick sister, warm up CD blaring through the stadium. It was our time, we were ready, we were all in.
First half, okay it was not pretty. We did not show up to play in the first 30 minutes. At half time, we talked as a team on what we had to do. The great thing was, we went out in the second and executed what we talked about in the locker room.
Second half we had five goals, three by two of our freshmen and two more by upperclassmen. It was really good to see some freshmen get in there and score on a tough team. That half we tied the Eagles scoring-wise, but unfortunately it was too late and we took a 15-5 loss.
Saturday, we were supposed to play at the University of Scranton but due to the weather forecast we decided it was best to save the four-hour trip until Sunday.
We boarded the bus at 7:15 am and of we went for our first away game. Between a movie, power naps, homework and lunch stop we finally made it to Scranton. It was a cold day in northeast Pennsylvania for us since we had been experiencing 70's all week (if only it had stayed like that)!
In the first half Annie McCorry was able to put two in the back of the net! At the half, we were only down by two, and the defense crushing it! They played solid D for a good portion of the whole game. In the second, Annie was able to put one more in the back of the net making a hat trick for her and Jacque (Jacque Hemler) scored our final goal at 00:00 (talk about buzzer beater)! Unfortunately, we were not able to come home with a win in our pockets, but if we play Scranton next year I have no doubt we can.
The Hornets are back in action this Saturday against Goucher at 4:00. This game follows the men's contest versus Elizabethtown at 1. The games will be live streamed so make sure you tune in if you can't make it to Shentel Stadium! It is going to be a great season to be a Hornet!