W. Lacrosse Outlasts Trojans

    With two powerhouse teams coming down to San Diego for the weekend, the UCSD women’s lacrosse players could have easily buried their heads in the sand and prayed for rain. Instead, the Tritons charged into their season-opening series, setting the pace for what the team hopes will be a very successful season.

    The Tritons kicked off their 2007 campaign with a thrilling, double-overtime 8-7 win over the University of Southern California on Jan. 27, but were unable to escape the weekend unscathed, and dropped their second game of the weekend to UCLA, 15-8, on Jan. 28.

    The Tritons headed into the USC game as the underdog, and for the first half of the game they played their role, always stuck just one step behind the tough Trojans. A strong second-half surge tied the game at six goals apiece, sending the game into the first overtime period. Even in overtime, the Tritons found themselves looking up at a 7-6 deficit, but were once again able to come up from behind, forcing a second overtime period with an equalizer from senior co-captain Leah Weinstein. Stepping up to her role as captain, Weinstein delivered an incredible goal to seal the 8-7 sudden-death, double-overtime upset win and spark a huge on-field celebration.

    The Tritons returned to the field on Jan. 28 with the thrill of Saturday’s game still fresh in their minds, ready to repeat their gutsy performance. Unfortunately, UCLA’s dominant first half proved too much for UCSD to overcome, and the Tritons lost 15-8.

    “”It’s the beginning of the season, so we’re really happy with how the team played this weekend,”” assistant coach Stephanie Svetlik said.

    Svetlik said that losses to schools like UCLA can be built upon to make the team stronger and to prepare for the long season ahead.

    “”UCLA was just a tougher team,”” Svetlik said. “”The girls battled real hard, especially in the second half, but we just came up a bit short.””

    Svetlik also expressed her excitement about the leadership she has on her team. At the helm with Weinstein is senior co-captain low-defender Nicole Martin. Svetlik said that both are seasoned players who have high expectations for the team and will focus with unrelenting determination to reach their goals. Last year’s captain, junior mid-fielder Denise Yee, is a natural leader who takes command on the field, and will serve as an excellent role model for the younger players., according to Svetlik.

    This core group of leadership, with Martin taking charge on defense, and Weinstein controlling the offense, has the Tritons poised to be a contender for a division championship. This year, instead of having the normal “”A”” and “”B”” teams, the coaches have decided go with just one larger team. This allows for depth at every position, but makes spreading out playing time a lot harder.

    “”I don’t think that having only one team will be a problem for us,”” Martin said. “”It’s only going to make our team more driven now that all the players have to compete for their spots.””

    One issue that has truly plagued the Tritons, however, is a lack of availale practice space. As a club team, women’s lacrosse often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to field priority — a fact that makes organizing and maintaining a set schedule very difficult. However, the team is able to turn this seemingly destructive problem into a positive one.

    “”The [practice space] problem just makes us work harder when we’re out on the field, and makes us more determined,”” Martin said.

    The Tritons should be rewarded with unlimited field space when they go to the Santa Barbara Shoot-Out Feb. 2 through 4. The tournament will serve as an opportunity to improve as a team by playing schools such as Occidental College, Pepperdine University, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

    The tournament, although important for developing skills and team chemistry, will serve more as a warm-up for future games against league opponents and cross-town rivals San Diego State and the University of San Diego.

    The importance of those games is not lost on Martin, who knows that “”winning [those games] is crucial to making the playoffs, but it will also let us say that we’re the best team in the city.””

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal