Molly Kershner, Contributing Writer
Anxiety about home games can be genuine for athletes, coaches and spectators alike, especially leading up to a season opener. The pressure to perform in front of your home crowd can be overwhelming for athletes, and the fear of succumbing to the stress is very real. Everyone has expectations for themselves, as well as expectations for their team and positional unit. Not to mention the pressure one puts on themself to perform for your coach. You have been working so hard in the preseason for this moment, and you never want to disappoint them. However, for our home opener against John Carroll University, it was all excitement and drive coming from all team members on “cowwlax!”
We had a little bit of unfinished business, if you will, with JCU. Our game against them last year, at their home turf, took a turn in the fourth quarter, and not for the better. Tied at the beginning of the fourth, 12-12, John Carroll scored five unanswered goals against us, pushing themselves to an eventual 14-7 victory. Our loss to John Carroll last year moved our record to 11-2, with our only other season loss coming against our fellow black and gold conference friends, DePauw. Our previous match-up with JCU in the middle of our conference play hit our confidence as a team pretty hard, especially since we had been leading the scoreboard all game. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger because a few days later, we played Allegheny, who, at the time, was still in the NCAC, and we pulled out a home win 17-11.
So come Feb. 22, 2023, ten months after we last saw John Carroll, we were ready to kick on the jets! Our first-year class is the largest class on our team, with ten newcomers on the roster. JCU is unaware of our new weapons, and hasn’t been able to scout them yet because this is the season opener. We have many returners on the starting lineup and supporting the bench, but we also have some incredibly talented and composed first-years out there as well. As an upperclassman, it is fun and motivational to see the first-years succeed on all ends of the field. As this was their first experience playing college lacrosse, I was so joyful to see everyone progress as the game went on and how the first years adjusted to the speed and aggression of college lacrosse. We have a saying on our team, “Each and every one of us,” and that is exactly what happened last Wednesday. We all showed up, cheered on our friends, and supported each other through our mistakes and our successes!
Our team is like a family. Each person has a role to play, and each person is just as important as the next. With lacrosse being a team sport, we need to rely on our friends to help get the job done, which is an easy task for us here at cowwlax. All 32 of us (our coaches included) are working towards a common goal while supporting each other every step of the way. Our win against John Carroll was just the beginning. We have big plans on our dream board, and nothing will stop us from getting there! Our family is going to continue working on what we need to while also celebrating the success we have along the way. Our team is a family; each member, across all grades, is essential to the group’s continued success. #BuiltFordTough