Women’s Lacrosse picks up steam

Sam Patterson, Campus Life Reporter

Lacrosse’s domain may be less widespread than some other major American sports, but it takes a whole lot of skill and courage to play. Players charge up and down the field yielding metal sticks, and they often get caught in the path of a dense ball of rubber that would break the speed limit on a highway. Watching the sport allows one to appreciate the athleticism and fearlessness needed for a player to succeed.

Whitman’s Women’s Lacrosse team is nearing the end of their 2023 schedule, making for a season that has demonstrated the team’s grit and perseverance on and off the field. The season has been chock-full of surprises and turbulence, mainly stemming from field disruptions and short-notice commutes. 

Junior goalie Korin Wheaton discussed a major hurdle to their season.

“Beginning of March … our field got snowed in, and there was an inch and a half of ice on the field,” Wheaton said. “It was really dangerous to play on, so we had to make an emergency travel two days later to Spokane to play on Whitworth’s field.”

Senior captain and defender Claire Podoll also provided insight into the logistical and physical challenges the team faced throughout the season.

“We ended up having four conference home games this year instead of the seven we were supposed to have because everything kind of went wrong. We have small numbers, which is definitely hard and means that everyone’s basically on the field the whole time,” Podoll said.

Despite these challenges, the team has rallied to achieve a very successful year, currently sitting at a 9-2 conference record and poised to make a playoff run.

Junior midfielder Madeleine Sherry spoke to the team’s success in the face of adversity.

“We’ve had a really good season, overall. It’s been really fun to show other teams how strong we are and that, though we’re a newer program, we have a lot of talent,” Sherry said.

Women’s Lacrosse became a varsity sport at Whitman in 2015. Despite being a fairly new program, the team has developed and grown closer ever since.

“We’re a really tight-knit team, and I think the chemistry really shows on the field,” Sherry said. “Overall, we’ve had to deal with a lot of challenges and bumps in the road this season, but I think we’ve handled it super well and our record reflects that.”

Podoll continued, explaining how some of the team’s challenges, specifically having a smaller roster with a lack of substitutes, actually provided motivation.

“It can be kind of a good thing because it makes it less competitive amongst team members and everyone’s working together,” Podoll said. “If you make a mistake, it means your teammates are running more on the field. Everyone has to show up for each other.”

Wheaton spoke to some of the specific tactical keys and motivations for the team’s success this year.

“We’ve made a lot of adjustments on defense and learned how to adjust to different styles of plays and different situations. That has elevated our play a lot,” Wheaton said. “A lot of it has [also] been our confidence and the fact that we have some new players that are really skilled, which has encouraged the rest of the players to get better. Our season is just reflective of how we’ve come together as a team for the past two years and tried to grow the sport at Whitman.”

Show up and support Women’s Lacrosse as they wrap up their productive season and continue to strengthen Whitman’s emerging program. Games can be live streamed at nwcnetwork.tv/whitman/, and you can follow their Instagram for updates on upcoming playoff games at @whitmanwlax.