Whitman women take third in lacrosse championships

Pamela London

This past weekend the women’s lacrosse team made Whitman  history with their winning achievements on Ankeny Field as they played for the Northwest championship title.

Captained by seniors Diane Feuillet, Hannah LaCroix and Sarah Evans, and junior  Krista Garrett, the team fought its way through three matches against Division I opponents over two days to claim third place overall in the Northwest Women’s Lacrosse League championships, the highest Whitman has finished in the history of the club. The NWLL championships were hosted by Whitman, and the team was eager to protect home-field advantage.

“Our expectations were to play well and really give it our all,” said Feuillet. “We’ve never made it to the championship game, so of course that is always the goal. [We] always think positively.”

“Going into this weekend we were expecting to play our game, play it hard and have a good time doing it,” added Evans.

After defeating Boise State University 12-8 on Saturday morning, the team learned that its next opponent would be the University of Washington, the top-ranked team among the ten teams in the division. Although a 15-5 loss to UW ended Whitman’s chances at winning the championship title, the team was proud of the way it performed against a formidable opponent that they were not expecting.

“We had to play UW, which was not expected, but we really put our best effort into the game and had some good plays and some solid defense,” said Feuillet.

After falling against UW, Whitman played Gonzaga University on Sunday morning in the third/fourth place match-up. With 10-7 victory over the Bulldogs, Whitman claimed third place in the NWLL championship tournament, the highest the Missionaries have ever finished.

“We played a really great third place game against Gonzaga,” said Feuillet. “That was a really great game because we were having fun and playing our best. It was a good way to end the season.”

“I think it’s really exciting [finishing third] because it means a lot for the future of the team,” said first-year Allie Wilson. “The team is really young, we have a lot of first-years. It’s really exciting just seeing how fast the first-years have improved.”

The mixture of young and experienced players and the dedication all of the women helped make this season one of the most successful in the team’s history. The team proved that it can not only stand up against highly ranked state schools, but also be competitive and successful enough to finish third out of 10 teams in the NWLL. Needless to say, this will be a season and a group of players that the Whitman women’s lacrosse team won’t soon forget.

“We were able to play our hardest on the field while still joking around and having a good time,” said Evans. “I think it is really phenomenal that our team, coming from not only the smallest school in our division but also as the only self-coached and student-run team, came out in third place. It really shows how hard we work as a team and how passionate we are about playing lacrosse.”

“The quality of play in the league has really risen in the four years I have been playing at Whitman and so all the teams are competitive,” said Feuillet. “I think the best part of the season is knowing that we can have fun and also compete with some very skilled teams.”