by Jacob Hevenor ’17
Trailing by six goals with just six minutes to play, the women of Gordon’s lacrosse team knew they had to dig deep to win and stay above .500 in the CCC standings. Staying true to team philosophy, playing with heart for all sixty minutes, Olivia McCarrick ’19 seized hold of the game and scored three times in the closing moments. However, despite the team’s reputation of playing their best in the closing moments, this one was not meant to be.
In the end, they dropped a close contest to conference foe University of New England on Wednesday, Apr. 19 by a score of 15-13. Just days later, a crushing overtime loss to Nichols dropped Gordon to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in the conference with one game left to play.
“Today’s game reminded us that we have it in us to make it far in the tournament if we play like we did today. With a couple of hard losses before this game, we knew we needed to remind one another of our team’s potential and heart for lacrosse and I think that is exactly what we did,” McCarrick said after the game against UNE.
An early run by the Nor’Easters proved insurmountable, as they scored six straight goals late in the first half to take an 8-3 advantage. When McCarrick scored her third goal of the day with 24 minutes to play, the score had narrowed to 11-9 in favor of UNE, but the opponents began to open it up again and jumped out to a 15-9 lead.
After Hannah Bourk ’19 scored a man-up goal, McCarrick struck three times in a row to bring Gordon within two, but the clock was not in the Scots’ favor.
This season has resulted in a number of close wins for the Scots, but a close loss has been a rare occurrence. Forward Caroline Walton ’17 said that there were still positives to take from the performance. “Although we may have lost, we proved to ourselves that we have the talent and the drive. We just have to have the unified team focus for all sixty minutes,” Walton said.
For a team with ten seniors, fully half of the twenty-player roster, every game comes with extra importance: the close group has played together for four years and has seen both victory and defeat. Anna Rourke ‘17 said of the group, “I believe one of the strongest forces we have on this team is the seniors’ ever-present love for this program.” They feel that their tight bonds will help come playoff time.
The sheer talent of the team will certainly help as well. With the late goals against UNE, McCarrick reached an astounding 50 goals on the season, top in the conference. Walton, Rourke, and MC Aston ’17 have also scored more than 20 goals this season, giving the team four prolific scorers.
Walton said, “Having a team with so many scoring threats makes it difficult to defend, as teams are unable to zero in on just one person. I love it because it lets us all play to our strengths, and it keeps the defense on their toes.”
Rourke emphasized the end-to-end effort needed to put the ball in the net. “It starts with a defender working hard to get the ball down the field, a high attacker makes an effective screen, and a goal is scored. It has been a blast being able to play with a creative and well-rounded attack.”
McCarrick, a sophomore, has been a revelation this season. “I think last year prepared me a lot for this year,” she said. “I got the experience of my first year of college lacrosse under my belt, so I knew what to expect as far as intensity levels, skills and competition goes.”
With the passion and drive that this team has exhibited so far, success will come on its own. “My hope is that we continue to play with passion, toughness and trust in each other, despite the exhaustion, shin splints, sore muscles and previous disappointments,” Rourke said.
“I think we can play to our fullest potential by pumping one another up, remaining composed but intense and playing our hearts out to the last whistle,” McCarrick said. The women look forward to using that philosophy to push them through the end of the season.