Women’s lacrosse opens season with hard fought win

Junior Marisa Ellison defends as Illinois Wesleyan launches a counterattack. EMMANUEL KWAKYE / THE DEPAUW

The women’s lacrosse team opened their season with a tight 7-6 victory over Illinois Wesleyan University on the turf of Reavis Stadium.

Illinois Wesleyan struck first when Sara Dust scored a goal two minutes into the contest. It did not take very long for DePauw to respond, however, when junior Emma Flynn scored an unassisted goal six minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. The Titan’s fired back with two more goals themselves in the first half, but senior Emilye Denny scored a goal before the half to cut the lead down to 3-2.

Senior Taylor Summers opened the half strong with back-to-back goals herself to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead with 25:11 remaining. Dust tied the game again with her second goal of the game with 17:47 remaining. Summers then created an open look for Flynn and scored another goal to give herself a hat trick and the team a 6-4 lead.

Illinois Wesleyan was not ready to give up, and Claudia Richman responded with a goal less than a minute later. Fourteen seconds later, sophomore Madi Lozanoski scored a goal off of a first-year Sydney Blake assist.

Illinois Wesleyan’s Kelly Grainne scored a goal with 5:08 remaining in the game, but the women’s defense held on strong for the remainder of the game to preserve the lead and give the Tigers a 7-6 victory to start the season.

Despite Illinois Wesleyan out-shooting the Tigers 26-14, winning 13 more ground balls, causing three more turnovers and controlling one more draw than the Tigers, the team was still able to win the game a lot to do with the play of senior goalie Lis Hawkins. She was able to stop fourteen of the Titan’s shots, while Illinois Wesleyan’s goalie, Claire Quist, only stopped five.

The win was Tucker Glass’s first as DePauw’s head coach. Sophomore Olivia Miller is proud with the way he has prepared the team for the season.

“It felt great honestly because our coaching staff puts in just as much hard work as our girls on the field too when it comes to our team,” Miller said. “There really isn’t more you can ask for in coaches.”

Flynn was impressed with the performance by the team, but knows that they still have a lot to improve on.

“Lis and our defense played an awesome game and our offense had good movements and some great looks on goal,” Flynn said. “We want to work harder in between the 30’s and scrap more when the ball is on the ground. But we're off to a great start.”

Miller believes it was great to start the year with such a close game because they can go into future close games with more experience and confidence.

“Wins are always good for the morale,” Miller said. “But the first game of the season is always tough I think because you have a new team every year with new freshman and new rising seniors and what not, so it’s important to get good team flow under your belts to know what works and what doesn’t and how you can improve.”

The team is back on the field Saturday at 1 p.m. when they travel to play the University of Mount Union.