BY SYDNEY RHODES
Saturday afternoon consisted of two wins from both the men’s and women’s lacrosse team. The women faced Rollins College at home, winning 10-6. As for the men, the team traveled to Charlotte, NC to defeat the Queens Royals 14 to 9. The games were full of goals, assists and shots displaying the hard work the teams have done in order to prepare for the season.
“The most difficult part about facing Rollins was that last year we lost to them 24-6, which was an intimidating loss. They were ranked no. 11 in the country for NCAA DII before our game Saturday” said midfielder Claire Swanson. “Our program had never won a game against Rollins, we had never beat a ranked team, we had never been ranked ourselves, and we had never had a winning record. We accomplished all those things on Saturday against Rollins and it was the greatest feeling ever.”
The Spartans battled the first half of the game, going into halftime with a lead of 6-4. In the second half Tampa and Rollins both continued to score, but the Spartans held their own. Sophomore Maggie Gladden assisted Natalie Carraway in the last few minutes, hitting the tenth point.
“We prepared for the game by watching film on Rollins and putting in new offensive plays that would help us break down their defense. We also watched our game against them from last season which really helped us see the areas that needed improvement on the field,” Gladden said. “It was hard going in knowing we have never beaten Rollins before and that we were the underdogs, but we didn’t let that affect our attitude and the way we prepared for the game.”
After the women’s team upset the no. 11 team in the in the country, the men’s team competed to log their second win of the season. At first the Royals lead the gamecame, scoring 3 goals in the first 11 minutes. UT then rebounded scoring four points back to back from Hunter Van Horn, Andrew Kew and Donavon Dempsey. They then moved into the next period with a lead of 4-3.
“Our defense worked on defending their offense,” said Head Coach Rory Whipple. “Our offense adding some new offensive sets and new extra man plays.”
As the game progressed, UT never allowed Queens to surpass them. Both teams shot on goal the entire game. The Royals shot 37 times on goal and the Spartans 38. In the last few minutes of the 4th period, Junior Matt Vetter, topped the score off and scored the 14th goal for UT.
As the men’s lacrosse team moves through their season the players and their coach has their eyes on the overall goal, a national championship.
“After losing in semi finals last year, we’re trying to get back and win a national championship this year,” Whipple said. “This years team is more balanced with more depth at the midfield. Great team attitude and work ethic.”
The women’s team also looks forward to a season full of achievement.
“For a team goal I would like to see us meet everyday with a championship mindset”, Gladden said.
Sydney Rhodes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org