The seniors of the Bridgewater State University women’s lacrosse team do not know the feeling of losing a conference playoff game as they have won the past three Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference championships earning bids to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Bears suffered their first MASCAC league loss of the year on Tues. April 19 in a thrilling 12-11 overtime defeat suffered to Westfield State.
“That’s a game that’s going to sting,” said BSU head lacrosse coach Erica Adams “but it’s a game that’s going to motivate them and we’ll see [West-field] again in the conference playoffs.”
Despite falling behind early, the Bears took a 7-5 lead into the half during the game at West-field.
With five minutes remaining in the game, Alex King delivered her second goal of the game to break a 10-10 tie, but was answered by Roni Orcutt of Westfield State with 3:04 to play in regulation.
In overtime, the evenly-matched game came to an end when Westfield State’s Blaire Smith snuck one by Bears goaltender Allie Foreman with just 1:10 left on the clock in sudden-death overtime.
“It was not an easy one to swallow at the moment, but I think they’ve learned from it,” said Adams. “They’ve grown from it and it will fuel the fire for sure.”
The Bears were able to follow up their heart-wrenching defeat with a celebration of the senior class during Senior Night at Alumni Park on Sat. April 23 as they took care of MASCAC opponent Salem State, 19-9.
“The senior class has collectively been the glue that has kept this team together over the last few years,” said Adams. “It was good to get out there for them and be able to go out with a bang.”
In the game, senior Marissa Yowell claimed a career high eight goals and is now second on the team with 24 goals scored.
Yowell sits only behind senior co-captain Lauren Geary (42 goals) who will leave her own legacy behind at BSU.
“Yowell and Geary had career days as far as numbers and effort all around,” said Adams. “For those girls and even the team as a whole it’s good to see them be excited and go out with their careers on a high note.”
Geary is now third on the Bears all-time scoring list with 210 total points in her four seasons but more impressively, with her ten draw wins on Senior Night, is just 14 draws away from break-ing all-time NCAA Division III record for career draw control total.
“She’s definitely a (BSU) hall-of-famer,” said Adams. “Her work ethic is unmatched, and she’s a genuinely good person. She wants the best, not only for herself, but for her teammates as well.”
We are less than a week ago from postseason play with the MASCAC women’s lacrosse tournament getting under way May 3rd, with the top two seeds earning a first round bye and the third and fourth seeds earning a home playoff game.
“The postseason is a whole nother world,” said Adams. “Survive-and-advance is our motto right now and we understand what it takes.”
BSU is currently tied with Fitchburg State for first place in the MASCAC at 5-1 with a single game remaining on the schedule. The Bears will entertain Worcester State (7-8, 3-2 in the MAS-CAC) Friday at 7 p.m. at Alumni Park.
Brendan Coughlin is the Sports Editor for The Comment.