2014 Women’s Lacrosse Season Ends, 2015 Looks Bright
After falling to conference rival Saint Mary’s, the Frostburg State University (FSU) women’s lacrosse team concluded their season with a meager 4-16 record. With only a 1-6 conference record, the lady Bobcats were not eligible for the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) tournament.
While their record may reflect a disappointing season, the numbers alone do not do the team justice. The Bobcats lost three close games that were just within reach. They lost by three goals to Bridgewater, two goals to Goucher and just one goal to Christopher Newport.
Not to mention that the loss to Christopher Newport was impacted by a controversial call that took away a game-winning goal scored by freshman midfielder Megan Hart. Despite ultimately losing to Christopher Newport, the game showed that the girls could compete with any top-tier team. Christopher Newport, new to the CAC this season, had previously finished first in the IWLCA conference for seven consecutive years.
Even though the Bobcats lost, the game against Christopher Newport was a big confidence booster. “Once they saw that they could go toe-to-toe with a great team like CNU, they knew they could compete against anyone,” said head coach Megan Foy. “I’ve never seen them play such smart lacrosse. They rose to the occasion.”
On a positive note, the team is only graduating two seniors and could potentially have 11 incoming recruits. Coach Foy said that they have six players who have already committed to Frostburg and are still waiting for five more to make a decision. While seniors Brittney Miller and Megan White will be dearly missed, the team is confident that next year will be better.
Though she will be gone, Megan White has high expectations for her former teammates next year. She said, “I expect them to continue to work hard and be the team that they want to be, which is a winning team. I expect them to make the playoffs.” With the return of leading scorer, Malory Brunett, and other impact players like Ellie Garner, Megan Hart, and Emani Byrd, there is cause for optimism.
Coach Foy said, “We’re definitely excited to get Malory back.” Foy added, “She’ll probably be a three year captain.” After tearing her ACL last year, Brunett came back in a huge way starting in all 16 games this season, and scoring a team high 48 points, with 31 goals. Brunett too has high hopes for next year. She said, “Overall we didn’t get the outcome that we wanted, but we are all looking forward to next year and having our breakthrough.”
Freshman phenom Megan Hart proved her worth in her first season with the Bobcats. She scored 21 goals, had 11 assists, and finished with the second most points with 32. “I consider myself an asset on the attacking side of things,” said Hart. “I’m definitely looking forward to better my stats in future years.”
Junior Ellie Garner also flourished this season in her new offensive role. Garner was a defender last year, but was switched to attack because of her offensive potency. She finished the season with 17 goals and 21 points, right behind the sensational Megan White. Garner said that she plans to continue to improve her game over the off season by lifting and working on her attack.
While replacing White will not be easy, Coach Foy believes that freshmen Emani Byrd is up to the challenge. Byrd played defense this year, but still managed to score six goals on 12 shots, giving her the best shot percentage on the team. Byrd also scooped up 41 groundballs, second to only Brunett, and led the team with 31 caused turnovers, a very impressive stat. Like Garner, Coach Foy wants to play Emani in the midfield and attack to give her more opportunities to score.
FSU will also return two potential starting goalies in Heather Lowe and Dylan Teitalbaum. Though Teitalbaum started in more games and had a higher save percentage, Lowe played 72 minutes more than her. Having two goalies with that much field experience is a luxury.
“This season was frustrating,” said Byrd. “We have a lot of individual talent, but we need to learn how to play together as a team.” If the Bobcats can continue to build on their chemistry, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Despite all the tough losses they had to endure, Coach Foy said, “The bond the girls have is unshakeable.”
Watch out for the lady Bobcats next season.