All season, the women’s lacrosse team has been determined to secure themselves a spot in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) tournament that is set to take place April 24 and 26. Because of this, they have been especially diligent in working on improving day in and day out in order to corral enough wins to qualify for the postseason.
While a loss against conference opponent Florida Institute of Technology on April 11 has put the Spartans behind in their conference record, their chances to get ahold of a spot may not be completely out of reach. Should they sweep Florida Southern College on April 15, they still have a chance to seal the deal.
The upset against Florida Tech brought the Spartans to an overall record of 5-10 and a conference record of 0-3. Although the team prides themselves on offensive control during this game, winning over half of the draws, inconsistency on the defensive end remained a formidable snag that hampered the team’s success. This is something that the team has struggled with all season, according to the players. When the players connect, they produce exceptional ball movement and offensive progress. However, once their opponents gain momentum, they lose their tenacity.
Despite a quick goal scored by sophomore Amanda Voges within the first 30 seconds of the game, the Spartans fell into hole as the Panthers followed with a nine-point run.
“We went out in spurts. We weren’t consistent with our play,” junior attacker Jackie Martin said. “There was great ball movement at points and then at other points there wasn’t. We struggled with our defensive play. I think we are consistently inconsistent.”
Despite the loss, the team is sure that the first step to overcoming this obstacle is maintaining the right mindset. Frequently, it is a lack of confidence that breaks them down so routinely during games and makes a victory too elusive to secure.
“I think it’s just a mental thing and we will overcome it with time,” freshman Natalie Carraway said. “We are a great team that works so hard, and I think we forget that sometimes. Once we start showing everyone how good we are at our full potential and believing in ourselves that we can do this, I think we will overcome it all.”
Moving into next week, the team will face their final game of the season, which also happens to be their final conference game.
A great deal is resting on their success in this match as all of their hard work throughout the season comes to a head. This match it will be the determining factor to whether or not the team will qualify to compete in the SSC tournament.
Although the upset against Florida Tech dismissed an area of leeway they could have had going into this final game, the team is hopeful that they will triumph over Florida Southern.
To do this, the players plan to use what they have learned in their recent loss, along with previous others, to mend the areas that have caused them the most difficulty.
By ultimately keeping their eyes on the prize, they will come away with a win and the spot they have been striving for.
“We have nothing to lose going into this game and that’s the mentality that we need to have – we need to be hungry for the ball and remember that were doing what we love,” Martin said. “We literally have nothing to lose. We know we need to come out ready to play a full 60 minutes rather than ten minutes here and there. We have all the skills to compete with these teams we just need to mentally want to win.”
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