May 4, 2010

Women's Lacrosse Season Blog

Hi HCWLAX fans and welcome to our last blog session of the season! My name is Megan Fenton and I am a senior co-captain of the women’s lacrosse team this season. This past weekend, as my fellow co-captain has told you, we beat American for a bid into the Patriot League Tournament. This week we are preparing to face #1 seed Lehigh at their home field. We could not be more excited to be back in the PL Tournament after winning the PL Championship our freshman year. I think I speak on behalf of the senior class when I say we are hungry for a chance to reclaim the PL throne.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Practice begins at 3:00 p.m. and we have a long week of preparation for the PL foes that we face this weekend, which will be Lehigh on Friday and either Colgate or Navy on Sunday. Today we focused on draws, with an exercise that we call draws to cage. The draw, a critical part of every lacrosse game, is an area of the game that we struggled with last time we faced Lehigh. We also learned a new play called “Nike” that seems like it will be a new favorite amongst the team. To end practice we each did 50 ground balls, which along with winning the draw has been another area of the game we been focusing on all season. Our hope is that if each of us individually does well with the lacrosse basics: ground balls, draws and shooting that we will be able to win each game we play. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We experienced some of the typical Worcester weather today, as we played in rain and wind. Thankfully, we started practice with film in our locker room. We watched offensive film on Lehigh and were given an updated Lehigh scouting report. During practice, we worked on full field clears with different set clearing patterns. We ended the day with a favorite preseason drill, known as short field 7 v 7, where we pull the goals to the restraining lines and do a short field scrimmage.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A big day for our HCWLAX team…Amy Martin, a junior goalkeeper, was awarded Patriot League Goalie of the Year! This is the first major award for a Holy Cross team member since Megan Orr received the Goalie of the Year award in 2007. We are so proud of Amy! In addition to Amy being honored by the PL, junior Meg O’Leary earned first team All-Patriot League, while seniors Katie Gardner and MaryKate Finnegan, and sophomore Kat Sutton earned second team All-Patriot League honors. Combined that is five Patriot League honors for HC, second most in the Patriot League women’s lacrosse this year!

Today, Coach sent the team our itinerary for the next two days. There is definitely a sense of excitement building amongst the team as game day is approaching fast. Before heading out to practice, we watched defensive film on Lehigh. Once we headed outside we warmed up with ladders borrowed from the weight room. All season we have focused on footwork with different exercises each week. Overall, the footwork has helped us become a quicker team. We also did 1 v 1s, scrimmaged, and we went over our high pressure defense in preparation for Friday’s big game.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We practiced 2:30-4:30 p.m., up at the Hart Center before getting on the bus to Lehigh. We warmed up with partner passing, then went into our normal pre-game day routine as we practiced clears and ended with 7 v. 7. We made sure that we knew both our offensive and defensive plays. Afterwards, we took quick showers and got on the bus. We had placed our normal BOOMERS orders the day before so dinner was waiting for us on the bus. When we arrived at Lehigh, we were given keys to our rooms and my last roommate for the year was freshman Taylor Zebrowski. This is the second time Taylor and I were roommates this year and I was definitely happy to room with her again. It is always fun to room with one of the freshman and get a chance to catch up with them off of the lacrosse field. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

Our biggest game of our season is finally here! We were up and ready to meet at 11:00 a.m. for lunch and a team shoot around at Lehigh. A shoot around enables us to scope out the field for the game tonight, practice some last minute drills, and give Donny and Amy a few more bruises. While the defense worked on long passes, the midfielders were able to practice draws, and the attackers and goalies worked together in shooting drills. When we got back to the hotel, we had some free time to hang in our rooms, prepare for the game and eat dinner. Thank you HCWLAX parents and coaches for hosting our pre-game dinner!

Although the game ended with a loss for Holy Cross, the game was our best yet. Concluding the game with a score of 9-8, our season sadly came to an end. The game was very back and forth. Even as we fell behind 4-1 in the first 20 minutes, we rallied to tie Lehigh 5-5 at half time. It was definitely a positive half time speech as we realized there were only 30 minutes left and we definitely had an opportunity to win the game. Our freshman Taylor Zebrowski led the team with three goals and one assist for four points. She has really stepped up this season and led us in some key games as a freshman. Senior and a second team Patriot League honoree Katie Gardner also had a big game as she scored three goals. Sophomore Kat Sutton and I each scored one goal. Kat has extended her goal scoring streak to 29 straight games now, a huge accomplishment for a sophomore! Freshman Maddie Carrellas recorded one assist and junior Meg O'Leary led us on defense with two caused turnovers. 

The game was a great team effort. The bus ride home was long and emotional, especially for the seniors. Luckily, this season our team grew extremely close so we know we’ll all still remain great friends regardless. Personally, the friendships that I have built with my teammates have been the best experience of my HCWLAX career. I know that I will be back here next year to cheer on the underclassmen when they make it to the championship and win the whole tournament!

This concludes our season blog fans! Thank you for tuning in…And a special thanks to our coaches for leading us back into the PL Tournament this year!

Hi, Crusader Fans! Thank you for continuing to follow our team during our 2010 season!  I’m Marykate Finnegan, a senior co-captain and defender on HCWLAX. I am very happy to pick up where my teammate and friend Allison Donovan left off.

Let me warn you, this week will either end in celebrations or in tears…I hope for my sake, the team’s sake, and your sake, it ends in celebrations!

MaryKate Finnegan

Monday, April 19, 2010: Coming off a WIN.

After a huge win on Saturday, we were all very excited to get back on the field and start preparing for the week ahead of us. On Mondays, we lift on our own throughout the day. I headed up to the Hart Center for my lift and then made my way to my usual spot in the training room. It’s been a tough season working through a back injury, but my teammates, coaches, and athletic training staff  have been a huge support system! As I got ready for practice, the usual patients walked in. We chatted about the big win Saturday and started strategizing for our games against Central Connecticut State and American (our last home game!). Practice consisted of 1 v 1s, a new clear out drill, and drills working on defending the cutters and shooting. After what seemed like a quick practice, I headed down to my accounting seminar, and then back to my room to do work before heading to bed.

Good night, Crusader fans!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010: Day before a game.

With more great weather, we headed out to the field again. Today, we prepared for both CCSU and AU. We are all so excited for our last two home games, but the other seniors and I have started to realize that the end is almost here. These are the last games that we will play AT Holy Cross, although we are confident that they will not be the last two games of our careers!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010: Game Day Mix Up.

A beautiful day for lacrosse! Today, I got up to the locker room around 1:30 p.m. and started to get ready for the game. The other seniors and I went out to the field early today to take our senior pictures, courtesy of Mr. Martin (goal-keeper Amy Martin’s father!). My fellow senior co-captain Megan Fenton had the brilliant idea of posing on the ground for some pictures, and the pictures came out awesome! The rest of the team came out afterwards for our annual team picture. After many takes, senior goal-keeper Allison “Donny” Donovan shouted, “Funny picture!!” Thank you, Mr. Martin, for a great selection of pictures! We took a few and then headed back to the locker room for coach’s pre-game speech. After a great warm up, we were informed of some very unfortunate news – the game had mistakenly been deleted online and there were no referees for our game. Instead, we scrimmaged CCSU for 30 minutes and then played 7 v 7 against ourselves. We apologize to all of our loyal fans, family, and friends who came out to the game, and we thank the parents for still providing us with a delicious tailgate!  Wednesday night, Katie Gardner, Ali Baird, and I went to Allison and Megan’s house with a few friends to relax. We had some laughs and talked about the huge game ahead of us. No one wants Saturday to be the end of our lacrosse careers…

Thursday, April 22, 2010: Preparing for AU.

Today, we met in the locker room to watch film on American. We studied their intense midfield defense for a half hour and discussed how we planned to break it and get the ball up field smoothly. After film, we headed outside to put our ideas to work. We started practice with foot work and then moved on to maze passing. Today, we added a defender to remind us to protect our sticks. We also worked on defending the cutter and my personal favorite, the early slide drill. Most importantly, we worked on clears. Coach and Abby broke down AU’s midfield defense and had some of our players mimic what AU would throw at us on Saturday. It was a great practice – everyone came out with a lot of intensity and enthusiasm, clearly ready for Saturday’s big game! After practice, we headed to the weight room, still full of enthusiasm, for team lift. Like Allison, one of my favorite parts of the day is hanging out with the team in the locker room before and after practice. We are very lucky to have a group of 27 girls that all get along and always have each other’s backs!

Friday, April 23, 2010: This will not be my last practice.

Again we met in the locker today to watch more film of AU. We went over the scouting report of their attack and defense, and broke down the film, listening to the coaches’ advice on how to beat them. Afterwards, we headed outside for another great practice. We started off with some foot work and then worked on our long passes. We knew that long passes would be a key to breaking down AU’s midfield defense. Next we went to the center circle for the popular “space game.” Again, we worked on clears and would take turns mimicking AU’s defense so that we could practice breaking it. We worked on draws to cage and also some shooting. As we have every day this week, we ended practice with 50 ground balls each and 25 high catches for those that play on the circle. At the end of practice, we brought it in for our cheer. Everyone was clearly pumped up for the game tomorrow and coach told us that she was very confident that today would not be our last day of practice. Friday night we had an ice cream social at Allison and Megan’s house. Unfortunately, the junior class could not join us, but they were out preparing for our Senior Day. Thank you, juniors!

Saturday, April 24, 2010: Right Here. Right Now.

I woke up before my alarm went off, very excited to get the day started. We had a team breakfast at Kimball at 10:00 a.m. When I sat down with Ali, Katie, Megan, and Donny, we looked around at the rest of our team and it really started to hit us that today is Senior Day, our last game at Holy Cross. I quickly ate and then headed up to the athletic training room with strict instructions to not go in the locker room yet! Eventually, my fellow injured teammate, Anna Boylan, came up to the training room, and we both got ready for the game, talking about how pumped we were to have a beautiful day, a great crowd of people, and a win within our reach. It was finally time to enter the locker room. There were streamers, balloons, and signs everywhere. Music was blasting and everyone was getting themselves ready. The freshmen, sophomores, and juniors had done a fabulous job decorating our lockers for each of us. We had little gifts waiting for us in our lockers, including a book of letters from each of the girls. Katie Riddle and I were not the smartest people at the time, as we decided it would be a good idea to start reading the letters. This, of course, led to tears. Once the entire team was in the locker room, we thanked them for all of their hard work, and turned our focus to the game. The coaches joined us in the locker room and gave us a great pre-game speech. They called out the starting line up, which consisted of the seven seniors (three on attack, three on defense, and our goalie!).

When we headed out to the field, the walk way was decorated with chalk, motivating us with every step we took. There were signs for each of the seven seniors and cups that spelled out, “RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW.” Every girl was wearing a t-shirt that read on the front, “Failure is not an option.” These shirts were worn in memory of Stephanie Crispinelli, a sophomore at Lynn University who passed away in the earthquake in Haiti while on a humanitarian mission. Stephanie was the best friend of our former teammate, Jenna Constantino. (Check out the article on goholycross.com for more information on Stephanie and how you can donate to her memorial fund). We ran out to our usual warm-up cd, and we had a great warm-up filled with enthusiasm! Before the start of the game, there was a small ceremony in honor of the seniors. Anna Boylan read announcements for each of us, making most of us cry. I was accompanied by my entire family, and as we walked down the row of my teammates, I started to cry. I hugged Kayla DiBari and continued my way through the hands of my amazing team. Everyone hugged our coaches and thanked them for an amazing four years. After that, the starting line-ups were called and we were ready to go!

It was an amazing game! Our attack started off strong, as we took a 2-0 lead with goals from Ali Baird and Megan Fenton. After AU put one in, goals by Annie Boylan, Maddie Carrellas, Katherine Sutton, and Ali Baird put us up 6-1. The closest the game got was in the first half at 7-5. Katie Gardner and Kat Sutton put in two more to make the score 9-6. We went into the half with a score of 12-7. It was a great first half for our attack, and now it was the defense’s turn to step it up. In the second half, we only let up four goals, and our attack put in four more with goals from Kat Sutton, Catherine Furman, and Katie Gardner. With the final seconds coming off the clock, I ran over to goalie Allison Donovan and hugged her in celebration! The rest of our team joined us, jumping and screaming! Our goals for the game had been to come out on top in draw controls, ground balls, and shooting percentage…and we did! Congratulations to Kat Sutton for going 4-4 on free positions! Junior goalie Amy Martin recorded 12 saves. Patriot League tournament, here we come!

Go here to view photos from the game.

Now it was time to celebrate the win! We headed into the locker room with music blasting. WE’RE GOING TO THE PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT! At our fabulous tailgate, we were joined by all of our loyal fans, family, and friends, including the boys who had been dedicated enough to spell out some of our names on their chests. The juniors again honored us with another rose and then honored our coaches for their hard-work and dedication. I was lucky enough to have many family members and friends at the game, and they were all so happy for our team. Did I mention we’re going to the Patriot League Tournament?

The week ended in celebrations! I am happy to tell you to stay tuned as my co-captain Megan Fenton will be continuing the blog as we prepare for the tournament at Lehigh!

To those faithful HCWLax fans, I’m Allison, most commonly referred to as Donny, Donovan. I will be picking up where my fellow teammate and housemate, Katie Gardner, left off. This week we hope for victories as we take on Harvard and Lafayette, respectively. Join me as I walk you through the second to last week of our regular season games!

Allison Donovan

Monday, April 12, 2010

As we close out the last two weeks of our regular season games, we have high hopes to conclude 6-1 in April. Coming off a tough weekend loss, we spent a great deal of time reflecting on our mistakes today at practice. After analyzing the film from our previous loss at Lehigh, we headed out to the turf. To begin practice, the field players each completed 100 ground balls, 50 with each hand. Our coaches have stressed the importance of ground balls since day one this season. Accordingly, it has proven to be a crucial and “make or break” aspect in our games thus far.

Amy Martin and I strapped on our helmets and headed to the cage for a goalie warm up, while the field players finished their ground balls and practiced a few draws. We concluded practice by running through our game-winning and mind-boggling plays during 7 v. 7. One of my favorite parts of the day is getting back into the locker room post-practice and cracking a few jokes with my teammates. There’s nothing better than having teammates you can count on and share a few laughs with!

It’s getting late and my senioritis has caused three hour procrastination. It is time to begin studying for a computer science exam with teammate and housemate, Ali “Boo” Baird.

Goodnight Crusader fans!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Today was all about preparation for our game against Harvard. Following some time spent in our delightful, decorated locker room to read the scouting report, we headed out to the turf for two hours of draw controls, ground balls, early slide drills and 7 v. 7. Oh, and I forgot to mention the remarkable game we began practice with to get our hand-eye coordination working! We were to set up in a circle shoulder to shoulder, using one finger to hold the “butt” of our sticks. Our coaches would state whether to move “right” or “left.” With this movement, we would have to grab the “butt” of the stick to which direction our coach ordered. If you fail to place your one finger on the stick next to you, you’re out. Last person with a finger on the last stick wins. I’ll admit I was out in the first round. Congratulations, Kat Sutton, on your superior hand-eye coordination.

Coach Ridolfi and Coach Mead have really emphasized the word intensity over the last few practices. Every now and again, we catch ourselves becoming complacent. Nonetheless, the more intense teams usually finish with a win on their record. So, prepare to be intensified, HCWLax fans!

Tune in tomorrow night for updates!

-Donny

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today was a tough one. We have struggled thus far with playing a full 60 minutes. Playing Harvard tonight was a good illustration of this. It took us a good 30 minutes in order to come back for the remaining 30 and prove ourselves. Although the game ended with a loss for Holy Cross, today was a great learning lesson going into our remaining three regular season games.

Meg O'Leary posted one goal and two assists, while Ali Boo Baird, Annie Boylan, and Kat Sutton each scored two goals. Megan Fenton and Cassie Rudden each recorded one goal, while senior Katie Gardner had one assist. Amy Martin recorded five saves in the first half and I recorded seven saves in the second. The game finished 15-9.

All in all, we learned how important playing a full 60 minutes truly is to the game of lacrosse. I have faith that we will play our hearts out for the full 180 minutes left of our remaining 3 regular season games and carry this intensity over into the Patriot League Tournament.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tonight was our first night practice of the season. Different from our usual 2:30 to 5:00 practice time, we switched things up a bit. We headed to lift for 5, watched film circa 5:30, and went out to the turf at 6 pm. We’re working on preparing for a good win against Lafayette on Saturday, April 17.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today was an amazing team win. Remember what I said about how important it is to play a full 60 minutes? We played the full 60 minutes and ended with a W for our records. With this win, we are still in the running for the Patriot League Tournament. The pressure is on for next weekend as we take on American for our senior day. With a win against American, we will have a bid into the tournament the following weekend.  Stay tuned Crusader fans.  For now, we will celebrate the 13-4 victory over Lafayette!

Here is a short summary of today’s statistics:

Katie Gardner recorded three goals and a career-best five assists for eight points. One of our rookies, Maddie Carrellas also was a force on offense as she scored a career-best four goals. Amy Martin stopped 10 of 14 shots for a career-best .714 save percentage. Megan Fenton recorded two goals and one assist for three points, while Kat Sutton scored two goals and Ali Baird posted one goal and one assist. Cassie Rudden had one goal, while juniors Annie Boylan and Meg O'Leary each had one assist. O'Leary picked up five ground balls. Our defense remained strong and caused 13 turnovers.

Overall, this game was a team effort. We hope to carry this excitement through the week as we take on Central Connecticut and American.

Hey Crusader fans. My name is Katie Gardner and I am a senior attacker for the women’s lax team. This week the team went 1-1 with great victory over Fairfield, but an unfortunate loss against league rival Lehigh.

Katie Gardner

Monday, April 5, 2010

After coming off a great win against Bucknell, and a day off to celebrate Easter with our families, the team was back at the Cross for practice at 1:45 p.m. We began with watching film of Fairfield and going over various scouting report details so that we were well prepped on what to expect the next day. Practice followed with series of drills that enabled us to put what we watched into play on the field. We ended practice with a cheer and went to Kimball for a team dinner. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010, Game Day: Fairfield

In a very exciting game, the Crusaders pulled away with a W in overtime, ending with a score of 14-12. After coming off of last year’s loss to the Stags by a score of 18-8, this victory was huge. The game got off to a rocky start as we found ourselves down 3-1 early on.  However, as we have been stressing at practice and each game, answering back was our only option. And that is exactly what we did as three consecutive goals were then scored by sophomore Kat Sutton, freshman Taylor Zebrowski and I, putting us ahead 4-3. Entering the half, after Fairfield tied the game 4-4, goals by senior Megan Fenton, junior Annie Boylan, and junior Cassie Rudden put us back on top 7-5.

At the start of the second half,  Megan Fenton scored to make the game 8-5, but Fairfield again tied the game for the second time scoring three unanswered goals making the score 8-8. Going ahead once more, I scored the next goal to give us the lead 9-8, but it was short-lived as the Stags posted two more goals giving them the lead 10-9. But a goal by Fenton and I gave us back the lead at 11-10. Another lead-change occurred as the Stags went ahead and tied it up 11-11. I netted the last regulation time Sader goal giving us the 12-11 lead but as was the obvious theme of the game, the Stags answered back with their 12th goal of the game with just over eight minutes to play. 

Junior midfielder Meg O’Leary scored the game-winner in the first part of the 6 minute overtime as Taylor Zebrowski sealed the deal with an additional goal with 1:24 left in OT. On the whole, the game was very up and down but with the Crusaders prevailing, it was an exciting game for sure. Almost every player on the attack was a scoring threat as seven Crusaders added points to the board. While clutch defensive plays, led junior Amy Martin’s season-best performance in goal, making 16 saves, kept the game’s momentum going and made the win a possibility.

Wednesday-Thursday, April 7-8, 2010

Practice for the next two days was full of energy after coming off of such a great victory. The sunny weather maintained itself, as did the unflattering tan-lines found on our foreheads, ankles, and wrists. However, we were not complaining as our season thus far, has been full of rain, freezing winds, and snow, so we have gladly welcomed the sun marks. Working on our offensive shooting percentage has been constant throughout the season and as a team we have definitely shown improvement in this area. However, we strove in these two practices to continue to work on taking good shots while defensively, the focus was on right hand drives and ground balls, as we saw would be our challenge, in the film we watched, entering into Saturday’s game. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Before we left for Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, we watched film of Lehigh’s defense in order to better prepare the attackers for the pressure we would receive from the Mountain Hawks. After a productive practice, we showered off and boarded the bus and met our new driver, Lance (Who, by the way, was awesome). On the way there we watched Love and Basketball, a team favorite and for dinner, we were graciously hosted by senior captain Megan Fenton’s family at their home in Bridgewater, N.J. It was a delicious break as we were served Caesar salad, chicken marsala, meatballs, pasta with broccoli and baked ziti, topping it all off with ice cream sundae’s for dessert. Needless to say, we re-boarded the bus very full and very tired. When we arrived at our hotel, the Courtyard Marriott, it was around 11:00 p.m. We received our roommates for the night, mine was Ms. Alex Corrado and headed up to our rooms. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010, Game Day: Lehigh

We had a 10:00 a.m. breakfast which was great because that meant we were able to sleep until 9:55 a.m.! Alex and I went down to the breakfast area in the lobby where we were offered so many options from pancakes to fresh fruit, to the real Jimmy Dean sausages (“the ones without the synthetic casing!”—A. Donovan). It was great, and we were all stuffed afterwards, but not too much because in a few short hours we were playing a very important game;  a win would have put us much closer to securing a spot in post-season play.

We arrived at the field and warmed up as usual. The game was off to a great start as we answered their first goal back with three of our own, two from myself and one Taylor Zebrowski, giving us the 3-1 lead. After one more Lehigh goal, senior Ali Baird found the back of the net maintaining the two goal lead at 4-2. After that, Lehigh went on a six-goal run making the half-time score 8-4. 

After two more unanswered goals, the Mountain Hawks increased their lead to 10-4. Following their goals in the second half, Kat Sutton netted two of her own off of passes. I tallied the seventh and final Crusader goal of the game with just under nine minutes to go. Lehigh would then net three more goals to bring the final score to 14-7.

It was a really frustrating loss for us as we had been mentally and physically preparing for this game for three straight practices, a longer number of days to get ready than any other Saturday game. However, our tournament hopes are not lost. Two must win games against Lafayette this Saturday and American the following Saturday (Senior Day) are still to come. Keep your hopes high HCWlax fans; I believe playing in the tournament is still in the cards!

Hello Crusader fans! I’m Katie Riddle, a senior defender on the team, and writer for this week’s installment for the HC women’s lacrosse blog. Thank you to all those who continue to follow us through the Holy Cross Athletics Website!  

Katie Riddle

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain, rain go away, HC laxers want to play! 

Today was a typical March day in Worcester – dark and rainy. With a full week ahead of us until our next game, we used today to stay out of the weather. For practice, half of us practiced our stick work with some wall-ball, while the other half ventured into the pool for an intense leg exercise. The groups then switched stations to complete the workout. Needless to say, it is quite obvious that some of my teammates are stronger lacrosse players than they are swimmers. After the wall ball and pool workouts, the two groups rejoined in the locker room to watch film from last Saturday’s loss against Navy. We watched the beginning of the game, and analyzed where both the attack and defense had breakdowns that led to the 6-1 Navy lead within the first 15 minutes. Film is a really helpful aid that our coaches use to show us teams we are scouting along with games we previously played, so we can visually understand the flow of the game and see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unfortunately the Navy game had more ugly than good, but it was a good learning experience for our entire team. We addressed the problems from the game and will apply them in this week’s practice. Tomorrow’s practice will consist of a full team scrimmage, where we will play with game-like intensity to challenge each other and make each other better at our weaknesses, as seen in the Navy game.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If we had practiced outside today, then it would have been quite similar to yesterday’s pool workout. Because of the continued rainy weather, we met inside the field house for practice from 2:30-4:00 p.m. Due to the smaller size and the (sometimes) slippery surface, the field house practices usually focus on shooting. Being a defender, I like to impress my fellow teammates with a sweet goal or two that I have hiding up my sleeve, since we all participate in the shooting drills. Today’s practice was a good way to focus on one of the three goals we had when we played Navy (see Mary Milley’s blog), which was shooting percentage. It’s also great practice for our goalies, who see a lot of shots within the hour and a half period. Hopefully the rain will hold off tomorrow so we can finally scrimmage each other! 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today’s practice was a competitive scrimmage, with our team split into two groups going against each other in every drill. To make it as game-like as possible, we had our warm up mix playing and each team warmed up on their respective halves. For the scrimmage, both teams came out with intensity and kept the score of the match even by halftime. Purple team pulled away, however, during the second half with smooth midfield transitions and connected passes on attack. White team put on the pressure though, with its double-teaming defense which led to purple turnovers and converted into at least one goal for white. The final score was 7-4 with a victory for purple. The last 10 minutes of practice was spent playing 7v7 with purple and white alternating between attack and defense. The practice was a great change of pace for us, as we look towards Bucknell on Saturday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today was the first day of Holy Cross’s Easter break, so while everyone else had ventured home, HC WLAX was able to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL Worcester weather at practice. We first started inside with film scouting Bucknell, watching both its offense and defense. We then took what we learned from the game film and were ready to apply it in practice. Perpetuating my already-obvious goggle tan, the sun shone brightly as we practiced in shorts and T-shirts (or just pinnies!). The practice again was very intense, with each player challenging and competing with each other during drills. Our shooting percentage has been improving steadily throughout the week, and our defense has been working on our second and third slides. As inspiration for our Saturday game, one of my fellow teammates (hint: she was a previous blogger!) re-wrote the lyrics to the song “Africa” by Toto (our team has awesome taste in music). Here’s a sample:

it's going to take a lot to drag me away from you
there's nothing 27 HCWLAX-ers can not do
god bless the rains down on college street
gonna take some time to do the things we've always dreamt - ooo, ooo

tina, shea and kay cheer and make us fight
as gards, cas and tay z make moves around the crease tonight 
we know that we can do this, right?
as sure as maddie, cami, mer and kat, will always make their sprints on time
we seek to win and we can't hide
determine to do things only 2010 has done

Friday, April 2, 2010

We had practice today from 10 to 12, and it was HOT out! I currently have a goggle tan that spans my entire face, not just my forehead. We have been staying hydrated during the week with lots of water. Today’s drills included shooting for the attack and ground balls for defenders. For tomorrow’s game, we are all getting little gifts for one of our teammates to pump them up for the game. My roommate and fellow teammate Laurie Noreika went to Target with me so we could buy presents for our respective teammates. Then we had a pasta party at some of the seniors’ house, where there was bread, salad, pasta, cupcakes for dessert, and New Moon as entertainment! Laurie and I are back in our room, currently chugging water to get ready for tomorrow’s weather.   

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Game day against Bucknell.

The team had Kimball breakfast at 9:00 a.m. and was dressed and ready to go for the game by 11. With the first whistle, the Crusaders were off with a four-goal lead and never looked back. Freshman Taylor Zebrowski scored a career-best five goals and added an assist for a career-best six points, and for her effort was awarded Patriot League Rookie of the Week for her performance! Other teammates who earned points were senior Katie Gardner (two goals, two assists), junior Annie Boylan (two goals), sophomore Catherine Furman (career-best two goals), senior Ali Baird (one goal), senior Megan Fenton (one goal), sophomore Kat Sutton (one goal), freshman Maddie Carrellas (one goal) and junior Cassie Rudden (one assist). If you were able to do all of that math, the final score had the Crusaders on top, 15-7. Junior goalie Amy Martin had a .682 save percentage, stopping 15 of 22 shots, which also awarded her with the Patriot League Goalie of the Week for her performance. As a defender, who doesn’t earn “points” like the attackers, I have to give a couple shout outs to my fellow teammates down on our defensive end. Laurie Noreika, Meg O’Leary, Amy Martin, Sarah Daly and myself each had one caused turnover, and Maddie Carrellas had three (!) caused turnovers. The Crusaders had a total of 10 for the game. We now have off until Monday to enjoy the Easter holiday with family and friends.

Thank you to all the fans who have followed us, including parents and family who come to support us during the games!

Katie #21 (Riddle, Ridds, Riddlah, Deej, etc.)

To those who sport Purple!! My name is Mary Margaret Milley and I am a junior midfielder.  This week the Crusaders had two tough losses against UConn and Navy. Yet, the spirit of the team in and out of the locker room has by no means dwindled. On the contrary, the Crusaders are armed with a new perspective of what it means to be a team and continue their unwavering commitment to their teammates, making them a serious threat to opponents in the Patriot League. 

Mary Milley

Monday-Wednesday, May 22-24, 2010 

After watching film on the UConn women’s lacrosse team and paying close attention to the detailed scouting reports, we had two intense days of practice before going up against the Huskies on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. The Huskies scored the first three goals of the game but we did not back down. Captain Megan Fenton, senior Katie Gardner, junior Meg O’Leary, sophomore Kat Sutton and freshman Taylor Zebrowski answered back for the Crusaders on the attack.  On the defensive end, junior goalie Amy Martin made 11 saves and was backed by a solid performance by the Crusader defenders. Although the Crusader attackers put four of the last five goals in the back of the net, the team’s final effort came too late. We were unable to pull out a win and lost to Connecticut by one goal. However, the team’s resilience to the Huskies’ initial three-goal run should not go unnoticed.  

Thursday-Sunday, May 25-28, 2010

We came back fighting on the practice field Thursday in preparation for our second Patriot League game against Navy. We e-mailed our professors and attempted to finish as much homework as possible before departing for Annapolis on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. After a short flight and a quick lunch we headed straight to Navy’s field for one final practice before the big day. After practice, we checked into the hotel, ate dinner, and spent the rest of the night relaxing. After a good night’s rest and a hardy breakfast, we headed to the field around 10:30 a.m. The midshipmen went on a three-goal run in the first half but we quickly fought back. While we headed into the second half feeling confident, the Midshipmen went on a four-goal run and ended up beating us 10-4 leaving us at 0-2 in the Patriot League. Before the game, our team set out to achieve three goals that we felt would lead us to a victory. The team decided the most important goals for this game was to focus on ground balls, shooting percentage, and draw controls. The Midshipmen beat us in 50/50 balls but did not beat us in draw controls. If we continue to focus on achieving small goals then final victories will come much easier. Following the game, we had an hour to walk around Annapolis before boarding the flight back to Worcester.   

Annie Boylan

Hi Crusader Fans! My name is Annie Boylan, I’m a junior midfielder on the women’s lacrosse team. After a few weeks of rain, cold and a little bit of snow, we finally had a beautiful week for weather, and a beautiful week for lacrosse!

Monday-Tuesday, March 15-16, 2010

Freshman Taylor Zebrowski was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week! We were proud and excited to have one of our freshmen earn this award after recording five points against UVM. Congrats, Taylor!

We started our week off with two strong practices. After playing in awful conditions in our home opener against UVM, we were ready for a nice week to play in. We were preparing for a strong game against Boston College on Wednesday. Having been a strong force in the past, we were ready for a fast and physical game on Wednesday. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty’s Day! A beautiful day and a big game, we were excited to be outside playing on our home turf. We had lots of green support in the stands on this beautiful day and it made for a great game.

The game started off strong, as the first half of the game was a pretty even game. There was a call and answer trend between Holy Cross and BC: BC started off the game by scoring two goals, to which Taylor Zebrowski scored the first Crusader goal of the game. BC answered back to make the game 3-1. Meg O’Leary and Kat Sutton each scored a goal to tie the game. When BC netted one more to earn the lead, Katie Gardner, Megan Fenton and I each scored a goal to give us a 6-4 lead. Unfortunately, BC scored two more goals to tie the game by halftime. 

Although excited and fired up to come out in the second, BC came out strong and kept us scoreless for most of the half. Kat Sutton scored our only goal of the half and we lost 13-7. 

Thursday-Friday, March, 18-19, 2010

Even though the game against BC was a tough loss, it was evident our team did not come out like we can in the second. We moved onto Thursday and Friday, two very important days before our first Patriot League game. We took the first half of BC, the way we know we can play, and worked on building to play like that team for a full 60 minutes. Colgate is the two-time defending Patriot League champions and we were looking forward to playing them in what would be the beginning of our Patriot League games. Friday we had a solid team practice before taking off to Hamilton, N.Y. We arrived in Hamilton at around 9:00 p.m. and stayed at the Wendt University Inn. Roommate Maddie Carrellas and I watched “A Cinderella Story” (great flick) while falling asleep. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The team woke up and had a team breakfast at The Colgate Inn before heading over to the field to pass around and warm up. 

Game time was at 12:00 p.m., and our whole team was excited to play one of the strongest teams in the Patriot League. The game started off with two goals from Colgate, but Katie Gardner responded by scoring Holy Cross’ first goal. Maddie Carrellas and Kat Sutton each scored to tie up the game. Colgate responded with two more goals to make the game 5-3. Katie Gardner and I both scored, and Colgate netted one more before the halftime making the score 6-5 with Colgate ahead. 

We started the second half off by taking a 7-6 lead with goals from Meg O’Leary and Katie Gardner. Colgate responded with two more goals, and Kat Sutton tied the game with a goal. When Colgate went up two more goals, Megan Fenton scored a goal and then Colgate went up 12-9. Megan Fenton and Meg O’Leary each scored a goal to bring the game to a one-goal advantage. When Colgate was up one more, Kat Sutton scored a goal, and Taylor Zebrowski scored a goal to tie up the game. A high intensity second half, we were working hard to get the final goal. Colgate scored with 2:30 remaining in the second and kept possession for the rest of the time. We lost by one goal, which was a frustrating loss, but has fired us up to fight hard for the rest of our Patriot League games.  

Although we had two losses this week, there were some great performances on Saturday! Katie Gardner had three goals and three assists on Saturday for a total of six points, she also reached 100 total points for her career—congrats, Gards! Kat Sutton also had an awesome game Saturday as she had three goals and an assist for four points. Megan Fenton and Meg O’Leary each scored two goals, while Taylor Zebrowski had one goal and one assist. Although it was a hard loss, there were definitely some great things about Saturday.

We look forward to working hard and earning some wins this upcoming week. Our second Patriot League game is Saturday versus Navy, which will definitely be another high intensity game. Please come watch us this Wednesday in a night game at 6:00 p.m. against UConn.

Thanks for your support!

Annie #10

“Back in Worcester”

Hi Crusader Fans! My name is Alex Corrado and I'm a junior on the women's lacrosse team at Holy Cross. I will be continuing the season long blog that my other teammates have started. Although the team and I were not ready to leave the warm Denver weather and wished to continue our various Colorado adventures, we quickly grew excited for Saturday’s home opener on our new turf field.  While this past week has not been filled with indoor skydiving, trips to downtown Denver or the aquarium, it proved to be an important week of preparation for our upcoming games.

Alex Corrado

Monday, March 8, 2010

Today, the team and I took full advantage of our day off, as many of us needed to transition from our Denver lifestyle back to school mode! It was a day for many of us to catch up on school work, visit with professors and also share various pictures from our trip. 

Tuesday, March 9- Friday, March 12, 2010

“Practice makes perfect” and our team was lucky to have four full practices (sans snow) before our home opener against Vermont.  I think we brought back some of the temperate Denver weather as Worcester remained in the sunny 50’s- a refreshing change as my teammates and I replaced our usual Under Armour and sweatpants with shorts and t-shirts! Also, with the temperature continuing to rise, our team was finally able to practice on our new (no longer snow-covered) turf field.

We successfully used these four practices to both improve on any flaws from past games as well as prepare for Saturday’s game. Throughout the week, we continued to push each other in drills. We worked on draws and clears and the defense worked hard in drills defending the offensive cutters. In addition, we continued to fine-tune our offensive plays so we could successfully implement them in Saturday’s game. Before practice, our team watched numerous games on film to highlight our strengths and weaknesses in previous games. This film allowed us to effectively use the following practice to fix any mistakes viewed on film. With a long week of practice behind us, we were confident in our preparation and pumped to face UVM! 

Saturday, March 13, 2010: Home Opener Against UVM

Well, our week of sunny, warm practices has abruptly ended as we will have to play our home opener in monsoon-like conditions. Raincoats and boots on, my teammates and I arrived at the Hart Center at 11:00 a.m. to have a “shoot around” before the game. We practiced adjusting our shots in the rainy weather and were constantly fixing our rapidly growing pockets.

After the shoot-around, my team and I traveled to Kimball for a 12:00 p.m. team lunch where we anxiously awaited our 3:00 p.m. game despite the rainy weather.

We arrived in the locker room around 2:00 p.m. We grew even more anxious to play as the men’s team celebrated their exciting victory over Colgate. My teammates and I were pumped and wanted to finish the day with two wins on our new field. Although the rain continued to fall, the team had a productive warm-up due to our new warm-up mix that the seniors put together. 

Junior Meg O’Leary scored the first goal of the game and she, along with senior Katie Gardner, sophomore Kat Sutton and freshman Taylor Zebrowski netted three goals! Although Vermont came back after the second half with two consecutive goals, we quickly answered back as Katie and Kat converted on two important free-position shots. Our junior goalie Amy Martin, who was named Patriot League Goalie of the Week for the second consecutive week, made 15 saves. The game proved to be messy at times as the wind and rain showed no remorse. However, the last goals of the game came off beautiful assists and completed the second victory of the day on our new turf! 

After a wet celebration in the locker room, our team enjoyed a wonderful tailgate put on by all the parents that braved the storm. Thank you, parents for your continued hard work and support!

This Wednesday, March 17, wear your green (and purple) and come watch us play Boston College at 4:30 p.m.!

Alex #1

Denver Trip Photo Gallery

Mount St. Mary's Game Photo Gallery

Denver Game Photo Gallery

HCWLAX in Denver, Colorado!

Hi Crusader Fans! My name is Laurie Noreika and I'm a senior on the women's lacrosse team at Holy Cross. I will be continuing the season long blog that my other teammates have started. In my blog you will get see a glimpse inside our Spring Break 2010 trip to Denver, Colorado! Enjoy!  

MONDAY, March 1, 2010

Worcester, Mass.: It’s 5:20 a.m. and my alarm is about to go off any minute to wake my roommate/teammate Katie Riddle up. For some reason at 5:00 a.m., I was up and ready to go! I think I am really excited because I love traveling, especially to places that I have never been to before including Denver, Colorado. When the alarm finally went off Katie and I shared egg and cheese sandwiches from Culpeppers that were waiting for us in our kitchen in the senior apartments. (A special thanks goes out to the person who picked them up for us!) After we finished eating, we went through a final checklist of the things we needed to bring to Denver. After the run through, it was off to Hogan to wait for the vans to take us to Logan airport. At 6:30 a.m., everyone piled into the vans and we were off! For me the ride to the airport seemed to go by fast and we were at the airport in no time. Half of us checked bags while the other half of us went through security. Once we went through security we waited to get onto our flight to Atlanta, Ga. All of us got onto the plane and we were off. Touch base with you in Atlanta.

Atlanta, Ga.: We landed in Georgia and had about two hours before we could board our transfer flight to Colorado. During the two hours, the team ate at the various restaurants in the airport. I had Charley’s and it was delicious! After we all were done eating some of us did homework and others just hung out and talked about what to expect in Denver. Some of my fellow seniors (Katie Riddle, Ali Baird, Alison Donavan, Megan Fenton and Katie Gardner) and I pulled up pictures on our computers from past spring break trips. We saw pictures of us in Boca Raton, Fla. on the beach with portuguese-man-o-wars, pictures from Davis, Calif. in the UC Davis Stadium and pictures from Baltimore, Md. near the inner harbor. As I was looking through all of the pictures, I was glad that we all still had them because some of the memories that I had from those trips were rekindled by looking at the pictures. Some of the best times we had as a team were on those trips, they really bring the team closer together. It’s time to board the flight! I’ll write more when we land in COLORADO!!!

Denver, Colo.: Just landed in Colorado and we are waiting for our coaches to get the rental vans and then we will be off to the hotel. We met up with our coaches and packed the two 15 passenger vans to the top with all of our bags and sticks. We drove to the Double Tree in Greenwood Village, Colo. and we went on a short team run to get used to the air and to get our legs moving. I couldn’t see the mountains in the distance yet because it was too dark out. After the team run we showered and went to dinner @ California Pizza Kitchen. Some of us got single pizzas while others chose from the various entrees. Well, here is to the start of a great week! I’ll be sure to keep all of you updated and I’ll be sure to take some pictures of the mountains to share! Take care and goodnight!

TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2010

A great day in Denver! Woke up to breakfast in the ZINK restaurant at the hotel and then it was off to practice. Walking outside to the vans I was stunned by the mountains! It was the first time that we saw the mountains in day light. I have never been to Colorado before and the mountains are just beautiful! We had a light practice to get ready for Mount Saint Mary’s tomorrow. It was a little difficult breathing due to the elevation difference. After practice we stopped @ Bruegger’s Bagels for lunch then we went back to the hotel. We had some down time in the afternoon. I hung around the hotel and did some homework  and went outside and took some great pictures of the mountains! A Congrats goes out to Amy Martin for PL Goalie of the Week! Congrats AMY! At 5:00 p.m. we watched film and strategized for the game tomorrow. When it came time for dinner we took the vans to the Macaroni Grill. There we got to draw on tables! We were very creative in our drawings. After dinner we all came back to the hotel and played a game called Psychiatrist. We play that game every year. I would tell you how we play the game but I do not want to give it away to the incoming freshmen and ruin it. After we played psychiatrist we all unwinded and went to bed. I’m off to get a good night’s sleep. Game Day tomorrow! BEAT MOUNT SAINT MARY'S!!!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 2010  GAME DAY  

Very excited for game day! We all had breakfast in the ZINK restaurant at the hotel and then we were off to our game! We won 12-10! It was our first win of the season! It was a big chip off of our shoulder to get the first win under our belt. It is a great feeling! Kat Sutton had a career-best four goals. Katie Gardner scored her 50th career goal while Megan Fenton had three goals and one assist. Meg O'Leary scored two goals and Annie Boylan had one goal and one assist for two points. Freshman Taylor Zebrowski scored once and freshman Maddie Carrellas had an assist. Although the game ended in a win for us, we still need to work on the “details” and have two solid practices in preparation for Denver on Saturday. After the game w e had a tailgate and then stayed to watch Denver play Loyola (Denver ended up winning 13-12 in overtime). When we got back to the hotel, a couple of us decided to go into downtown Denver while others went to a ranch and others went indoor skydiving. For myself and those who went into Downtown Denver, we took the Light Rail that was behind the hotel into downtown Denver. The ride in took about a half an hour and when we got there I was stunned at the 16th street shopping center! The shopping center was outside yet it had a Free Mall Ride up and down 16th street. The busses that gave us the free rides were the only type of transportation, besides bikes, that were allowed on the street in the shopping district. One thing about Denver that is different from the Northeast is how travel friendly it is. I can’t believe how easy it is to get into downtown from our hotel and how accessible it is to get around downtown! After we were done downtown we took the Light Rail back to the hotel. It was a busy day today. I’m off to get a good night’s sleep! Catch you in the a.m.!

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 2010

Woke up this morning to another great breakfast at the ZINK kitchen. Now I’m just waiting in my room with my roommates before we leave for practice @ 9:30 am. We might drive into Boulder, Colo. this afternoon after practice. We will see what happens. We had a light practice. We worked a lot on our clears and defending the right hand cutters off of a stack and also learned some new plays that we will use against Denver. After practice we stopped at Bruegger’s Bagels to get lunch and now we are back at our hotel. We have an hour to shower and get ready to go into Boulder!! On our way to Boulder, Coach and Abby stopped at a scenic stop so we could take pictures of the mountains. From our hotel we can see the mountains in the distance, but here we were so close t o the mountains! Boulder, as described by the Denver Post, is “the little town nestled between the mountains and reality”. While in Boulder the view of the mountains was unbelievable! There were tons of shops and restaurants down the Pearl Street Mall. A couple of my teammates and I ate @ Old Chicago and some of my other teammates went to a Rail Jam on the campus of the University of Colorado. Once we were done shopping and eating we drove back to the hotel. Now we have some free time to relax before bed check at 11:00 p.m. I still can’t get over how beautiful the view of the mountains was in Boulder. Well, I need to get to sleep. Today was a long day and I can’t wait for what tomorrow has in store!

FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2010

What a day! Woke up this morning to another good breakfast in the ZINK restaurant. Now it is off to practice to prepare for our game against Denver tomorrow! The boys UPenn lacrosse team is here at the hotel. They are playing Denver tomorrow before our game. Hopefully we will stop @ Bruegger’s Bagels after practice for some lunch! Write to you when I get back to the hotel! We went to Bruegger’s for lunch. I’m back at the hotel now and I’m going to go to the Downtown Aquarium! I will write more when I get back. The aquarium was awesome! I went with Annie Boylan, Kayla DiBari, Katie Riddle, Amy Martin, Meg O’Leary and Katelyn Gettens. After we went to the Aquarium we went to downtown Denver to shop around the Denver Pavilion. After we were done shopping we ate at Brauns and then we were off to the Pepsi Center to watch the Denver Nuggets play the Indiana Pacers. The game was a lot of fun! It was my second NBA game ever! Thankfully the Nuggets won. Now I’m back in my room getting ready to go to bed. Today was a lot of fun and I can’t believe that this week is going by so fast! Well I need to rest up. Big game tomorrow versus Denver! BEAT DENVER!!!

SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2010  GAME DAY

Woke up this morning to do some homework before breakfast. After breakfast we had a team meeting to go over some things before the game in the late afternoon. After the meeting we all packed the vans and headed over to Panera Bread for some lunch. After lunch we came back to the hotel and got ready for the game. We arrived @ the University of Denver a bit early for our game to catch a glimpse of the UPenn vs Denver men’s game that was before ours. The stadium was PACKED! I couldn’t believe how many people were there. It was unbelievable! Once we were in our locker room it was game time. We saw Denver play two days ago and we saw the intensity that they had during their game. I think that all of us were fired up to play a team that had so much intensity. The game started with so much intensity on our end! We scored the first two goals and everyone on our team was going nuts! Ali Baird netted the first goal on a free-position shot and then Kat Sutton had a shot from a pass by Meg O’Leary. After that Denver, scored three goals in a row but we came back when Maddie Carrellas scored a goal. It was so overwhelming that we were actually competing with them! It was 6-3 at the half. Although the second half did not turn out to be in our favor (we lost 12-6) that was the first time that we as a team had amazing intensity. We now set a level to live up to for our other remaining games. We are finally going to have some home games after being on the road for so long! After the game we went back to the hotel to have dinner there and pack. I can’t believe that the trip is almost over! It has been an amazing week. Off to bed. Have to wake up @ 4:00 am. tomorrow. Goodnight!

SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2010

It is 4:00 a.m. We are about to leave the hotel. Two of our teammates are a bit sick. We packed the vans and were off to the airport. I’ll fill you in when we land in Atlanta. We had a bit of a delay on the runway taking off in Denver due to the fog, but we all made it here in one piece. My two teammates aren’t doing so well. They both feel nauseous. Hopefully whatever they have will pass soon. Off to Boston! Just landed in Boston. I feel obligated to let all of you know that we landed safely and we are just waiting for our bags (Yes, I did call my mother to let her know I arrived in Boston safely…). Today has been a LONG day. But we will soon be back @ HC. We should get back to HC around 5:30-6ish. I’ll write to you one last time when I get back to my room. Finally in my room! Now it is off to do some laundry, go to 7:00 p.m. mass, get some food @ Cross Roads, stop in the lobby shop to refill my refrigerator, and finish up some last minute things before classes start tomorrow. I still can’t believe how much our team has accomplished over the past week. We definitely grew closer as a team and have created some amazing memories that I will never forget. I can’t believe that that was my last Spring Break here at Holy Cross. How the time flies! Well, I hope that all of you have enjoyed reading about our trip to Denver and hopefully will keep up with us and our season! Go Cross!

From Inside the 8

Laurie #7

A Week in the Life of HCWLAX

WEEK 1

Hi Crusader Fans!

My name is Amy Martin and I'm a junior (I just wrote sophomore, holy cow, time flies) on the women's lacrosse team at Holy Cross. As part of a special season long blog that www.goholycross.com is doing, my teammates and I will be providing you with weekly updates on the goings on of the women's lacrosse team!

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2010

Countdown until game day: 2 DAYS! There's an air of anticipation on the hill today as the days until game day have dwindled. We've had a countdown going in the locker room since the beginning of the month and those days have quickly fallen off our countdown, which now reads "2." It's unreal that in two days we'll get on the Silver Fox and travel west to University of Massachusetts to play in the first game of the season. One of the important things that we accomplished at practice today was making a list of goals for the season. Although we decided that our team motto would be "Right here, right now" in the fall, we came up with more specific goals that we would like to accomplish as a team this season. We had a good practice today, and we're crossing our fingers and toes that tomorrow's anticipated snow will hold off or avoid the area between 2:30 and 5. Unfortunately no one on the team has an in with Mother Nature....we should work on that...

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2010

Well unfortunately the snow is STILL falling as I write this. We had a short practice from 2-4 in the field house today as the snow came down hard all day, and is continuing to do so. While this isn't the type of pre-game day type of practice we were anticipating we're rolling with it. It's almost weird to have an extra two hours to use this afternoon as we do not have our usual 5:00 p.m. lift today because of the game tomorrow! The excitement for tomorrow is apparent. We received our uniforms and warm-ups today, which is always an exciting moment, even for the upperclassman. I remember as a freshman coming into the locker room and our jerseys were hanging in our locker stalls. That was a moment in which I was finally convinced that the dream I was living was real. Tonight will be pretty low key for me as I won't have class tomorrow because we are leaving at noon. Haha, it will most likely consist of folding my laundry and watching the Olympics. Sometimes our lives aren't all that glamorous but what we get tomorrow will make all our hard work worth it! Can't wait!

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2010

GAME DAY

So even though today didn't go our way, there is still so much promise to be had and many opportunities to take advantage of. The best part is that we recognize what our weaknesses are and we are more than prepared to move forward because we believe that we can do great things this season. But let's start at the beginning of the day. We had to be up at the Hart Center ready to board the bus (fondly known as the Silver Fox) at noon. For many this meant missing a little class, grabbing lunch to go or running it up Mt. St. James to get there on time. One of the funniest parts about starting our season around this time of year is that Ash Wednesday almost always falls on a day we have a game. This year was no different. Many girls showed up to the bus with the ashes smudged across their foreheads, telling stories of people telling them that they "had marker on their foreheads." With our bags packed we boarded the bus and headed west to UMass. It was a quiet bus ride over to Amherst, pre-game rituals were starting, headphones were plugged into ears and some people caught a last minute nap. I reviewed our goals in my head, I thought specifically on how I was going to do my part to help accomplish them today, right here and right now.

After getting to UMass we were dressed, taped and ready for warm ups. Our usual warm up consists of a lap, stretching and continuous. Between stretching and continuous we have started doing something we like to call "The Rave." Here's some incentive Crusader fans, to find out what "The Rave" is, you'll just have to come to one of our games and catch us in the act! Other typical drills found in our warm ups would be 3v2, 1v1, 8 meters, ground balls and 7v7.

The last part of pre-game is the line-ups. The announcing of the line-ups is another one of those things that allows me know that this dream is real. To hear your name, number, position and hometown called out for everyone to hear is an incredibly proud moment and one that is NEVER taken for granted. We all know that this could be taken away from us in an instant not to mention that our four years as a student athlete go by in an instant, so it is in moments like this that we realize just how lucky we are.

The first half started off rocky. Down 7-1 at the half we regrouped. We had a lot of things to fix but it was do-able. A five goal run for UMASS in the second half didn't help our cause, and we realized some specific things that we must work on to accomplish our 2010 goal of "Stopping Runs." Although the final score was 15-6, it should not go without saying that it was a special day for two Crusaders: freshman Maddie Carrellas and Taylor Zebrowski each put up assists on the day tallying their first points of their college careers. Sophomore Kat Sutton, senior Ali Baird, and junior Meg O'Leary also had strong games, each recording two points on the day.

After the game we headed to sophomore Caitie Shea's grandmother's house in nearby North Hampton for tailgate. It is always so special to have parents and relatives open up their houses to us. We were greeted by lots of tasty treats and familiar faces. I was particularly happy to see a very familiar face. My mom had made the trip all the way from Michigan to see her first season opener. Even though my mom has become a pretty good text-er, it's way better to have her standing in front of me to tell the news from far away, not to mention replenish my gum stash : ) After packing up the leftovers we got back on the bus for a ride back to Worcester. Sometimes bus rides home after a loss can be challenging mentally. The mood at tailgate is fun, there's lots of fun, family and stories to be told. But once you're back on the bus you begin to remember all the things about the game, it's dark and hard to do work as a distraction. It's often a good time to just put your headphones back on and try to take a nap, to not dwell on what could have happened. After a forty five minute nap we were back in the Woo, ready to attack the library and spend a night studying up for class tomorrow. 

THRUSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2010

Light practice today after a game day. Worked a lot on draws, which was an area in which we struggled with yesterday. New lift today, got through some new exercises and revisited some old ones. Lift is a little lighter now that we're in season, but still gets us to work hard!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010

Today before practice we watched film from Wednesday's game. It was great that we got to hear Kayla's commentary on the game : ) Even though its hard to relive the mistakes we made, it makes us a much more honest team that owns up to what we have done wrong. It's also helpful to see yourself on film because sometimes you're so caught up in the moment that it's hard to understand what mistake you made. We worked a lot on clears today and pushing the fast break. The seniors are off to 100 days ball tonight (100 days till graduation, I can't hardly believe it, I can't imagine how they feel) and a low key night for most of us, lots of work to be done with midterms coming up, as I write I'm sitting with sophomore's Caitie Shea, Cami Thompson, freshman Taylor Zebrowski, Maddie Carrellas, Tina Marino and Sara Cox, I think my fellow junior Rachel Murray is also in here somewhere....

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2010

Wow, what a BEAUTIFUL day it was today!! The sun was out and it was about 40, which can only mean shorts and t-shirts for practice!! Awesome!! Worked more on clears today and got a chance to scrimmage which is always fun. Also worked on taking more risks in practice so we can achieve our goal of "to practice like we play." Watching some Olympics right now, GO USA! 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2010

Today was a fun day! We held a fundraiser at UNO's for our spring break trip to Denver (which we're leaving for in less than a week now!!!). The best part of working a "shift" was being able to have some food while supporting our team! Thanks to UNO's for helping us "raise some dough!" Today is also our one, day off during the week, so it was a great day to sleep in and catch up on work. Senior Ali Baird and I got the chance to go to Providence with our Shakespeare class today to see a production of "Twelfth Night." It was also another nice day today, could the groundhog have been wrong this year? Is New England headed for an early spring?! 

Well, this is the end of the week for me but I did want to end with saying something about my teammates. The past week has been one of the roughest I've had at Holy Cross. My high school lacrosse coach lost an eighteen-month battle with ovarian cancer last Saturday. Most of the time my home of Michigan doesn't seem ALL that far, this week it might has well have been on Mars. Although my teammates told me that if I needed to go home that they would understand 100%, but I knew that I had to be here for them for our first game, and to play that game in my coach's honor. After all without her forcing a goalie stick into my hands I wouldn't be here. Anyway, this whole week my teammates have supported me unconditionally with love, kind words of support and often times food. In my lowest moments this week they never once gave up on me and urged me to fight and to be strong. With their tremendous support and help I got through this week. One of our other goals this year is to "back each other up on the field." I have a feeling that we will have great success with this goal as each and every girl on this team has great mastery of this skill off the field.

Keep watching for more updates from my fellow teammates Crusader fans!!

Peace in your crease and GO CROSS,

Amy #30