W. Lacrosse defeats Hamilton

Out of the 11 schools in the NESCAC, eight are ranked in the top twenty for Division-III women’s lacrosse, including Colby. Such skilled opponents will present a challenge for the Mules this season, but with a strong veteran core, new additions to the coaching staff and younger players eager to prove themselves, the women are up for it.

After a disappointing end to the 2015 season, the women’s lacrosse team is committed to making this season their best in recent years. Last year, the Mules earned a 9-1 record in the first half of their season, but experienced a breakdown as it drew to a close, losing five of their last six contests. Their final record of 10-6 was not enough to earn them a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament, marking the first time under head coach Karen Henning, who returns this year for her ninth season, that the team did not make the tournament.

Henning has a formidable coaching staff behind her this year, with Mark Serdjenian ‘73 returning as assistant and newcomers Mallory Hinman and Renee Olsen joining the team. Serdjenian was Colby’s all-time leader in wins as head coach of Colby Men’s Soccer, and he will be retiring at the end of this academic year. Hinman and Olsen are both graduates of Trinity College, where they played on the 2012 national champion team. Hinman earned All-NESCAC and all-region honors in her final two years with the Bantams, and Olsen won a national title as a first year, going on to help her team finish second in the country her last three seasons. Each coach brings something new to the table, and their collective knowledge of and passion for the sport will encourage a positive atmosphere on the team.

In addition to new coaches, seven first-years have joined the team, and they will be important factors in maintaining the depth of the Mules’ roster. They will also help make up for the loss of several seniors from last season, including starting goaltender Claire Dickson ’15 and Abby Hatch ’15, who earned All-American honors with a team-high 56 points. Fortunately, ten of the Mules’ top 12 scorers are returning this year, and many of the women are looking forward to picking up from where they left off last season, including several sophomores who made strong impacts as first-years.

The Mules are led by co-captains Abby Hooper ’16, who was tied for third on the team in scoring last season with 23 goals and five assists, and Emma Marjollet ’16, who will be moving from defense to midfield this year. In goal, the women have significant depth, with options in Sam Burch ’18, Sarah Evans ’16 and Izzy Scribano ’19.

Scribano made her collegiate debut last Saturday, March 5, in the team’s season-opener. The Mules topped Hamilton College 10-9 after an outstanding comeback during which they scored seven straight goals to turn a 6-3 deficit into a 10-6 lead. Scribano finished with nine saves, including several in the final minute, which allowed Colby to succesfully run out the clock. Hamilton outshot Colby 25-18, but the Mules scored on five of their seven second-half shots to stay ahead. Colby’s goal scorers included Maddie Hatch ’18, Grace McVey ’16, Dana Swaffield ’16 (2), Lexie Perticone ’17 (2), Hooper, Kendall Smith ’18, Gemma Bready ’17 and Kelsey Bowen ’18. A full 60-minute effort led the Mules to a strong team victory, and the win was a tremendous way to get the season started.

Next Saturday, the women will play Trinity in Hartford, Connecticut, followed by their first home game against Tufts on March 18. A few days later, the team will travel to Clearwater, Florida, where they are lined up to face Union and Connecticut College in a Division-III tournament. With only five home games and a lot of talented competition, the women’s 2016 schedule will be difficult, but thanks to depth in their roster and determination to win, the Mules are ready to face what lies ahead.

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