By Will Brown
The Millsaps Women’s Lacrosse team began their season earlier this month, returning to the field for the first time in a year. Last year they were unable to have a season due to a lack of players, but those who stuck with the team during the off-year are looking forward to the opportunity to play again.
Sophomore Dana Logan, who plays defense, is beginning her second year with the team, but is just now getting her opportunity to play for the first time. “When we first started, we only had 11 people and we needed 12 people on the field at all times,” Logan said.
In order to obtain more players, the team worked to recruit several new members that had no previous experience playing lacrosse. Over half of the current roster is made up of either freshmen or upperclassmen that had no prior experience with the sport. Logan, a former basketball player at Millsaps, quickly realized the similarities between the two sports.
“I had never played lacrosse before, but I realized it was like basketball, which I loved” she said.
Freshman Danielle Williams had also never played lacrosse prior to arriving at Millsaps, but she is quickly picking up on the game. “I had no idea what lacrosse was about. I was just going with the flow and hoping I could pick it up as quickly as I could,” Williams said.
Freshmen students make up half of the Women’s Lacrosse roster. So far, Williams’ favorite part of being on the team has been getting to travel with her teammates and getting to go different places to experience the games. She believes that traveling together as a team will help them grow closer and form a tight bond. “Getting to know the team members and watching the team bond was the most important thing,” Williams said. “In order to function well, we have to work together as a team.”
Senior Cherilyn Cabenero has been with the team for four years. She believes the season has gone better than expected. “We have a lot of new people but they have really grown to love the sport and they are all getting along well” Cabenero said.
Head coach Kelsey Ingraham is coaching this team in a different way than she expected coming into a Division III program. “13 of 16 have never played Lacrosse before” Ingraham said. “Lacrosse is disciplined and I’ve had to teach the rules and basics.” As the season has gone on, Ingraham has seen serious progress throughout the young roster. “They are learning more about each other as teammates” Ingraham said. “I think the biggest thing this season is learning how to play with each other and to have fun.”
With such a young and inexperienced roster, the Women’s Lacrosse team has struggled to begin the season. They lost their opening game 17-2 to Point University and then lost 13-7 to LaGrange College. This past weekend, they fell 16-3 to Hendrix College. “Going into the first game, inexperience threw us off a little bit” Ingraham said. “We were not sure how everything was going to go. Now that we have played a few games, they are definitely growing and they are understanding what to do on the field and how the sport is played.”
Despite their early struggles, positive emotions are running high with the team “Everything has been good with the team,” said Logan. “I see a lot of positivity coming out of this. We are a young team and we are working toward becoming successful.” With eight more games remaining in the season, the team will have plenty of opportunities to improve and build on their success.
“They are all extremely hard working and want to do well” said Ingraham. “The first few games definitely helped us understand the game of lacrosse more. Now it comes down to executing what we need to do.”
Williams says the team is already beginning to improve from game to game. “After we got some experience we began to play better.” she said.