First varsity season exceeds expectations

Kendra Winchester

The inaugural season for the Whitman Varsity Women’s Lacrosse Team this spring could be measured in the amount of wins and losses the team had. However, a better measurement can be based on the growth and confidence that the women gained in themselves and in new Head Women’s Lacrosse Kate Robinson throughout their season.

Robison was quite pleased with the outcome of this season.

Photo by Tywen Kelly.
Photo by Tywen Kelly.

“I think we learned a ton. We got better from day one to the last game. I think that we became really cohesive as a unit and truly became a team,” said Coach Robinson. “We showed moments of brilliance and moments where we could use some development –– all positive. This year was super fun and I was so pleasantly surprised with the level of play that we had. I lucked out with this group.”

The players were equally excited with the outcome and experiences that were had this season, especially with that of having a new coach.

“She was a really good fit for the school and with the transition. She understood that it was not going to be varsity level. She worked really well with us to make that transition,” said junior Emily Jordan.

With the generation of nothing but positivity this past season, there is a lot of excitement for next season. But with next season comes higher expectations and more preparations.

“The thing we need to work on, I think, is work ethic next year, and I think we have that along with our ground level skills, and we are prepared with a plan: lots of fitness and stick skills,” said Jordan.

Increasing every aspect of the game for this still new team is the starting point for next season and months before that.

“Next season is going to look very different, especially this being the hybrid year. We’re going to have an earlier preseason and an extra day of practice. Fitness has to be there, knowing our schedule and developing these habits early, starting this summer. Going deeper into what we did this year, especially with on-field things. We have so much potential,” said Robinson.

Now that women’s lacrosse is a varsity sport, recruitment for next year’s incoming first-year’s is crucial to increase the depth of the team from this past season.

“Right now we have about five commits, and we’re waiting to hear back from the other regular decision applicants,” said Robinson. “They have all been to campus and met the team and are super pumped to have an immediate impact for next year.”

Boosting the intensity for next season will only increase with the experience of current players and the excitement of new additions.

“We struggled with the varsity atmosphere, and having people coming in will really help us with that,” said junior captain Nina Henelsmith.

More game experience will also come along with the addition of recruits and ramped-up expectations. Robinson plans to expand the schedule in order to help the team gain experience.

“Right now I am working on our non-conferences games,” she said. “We are most likely going to go to Southern California and play a few powerhouse teams, which is good for our strength of schedule, maybe get some neutral site games on the west side. And hopefully get to go down to Colorado and play Colorado College.”

With the addition of recruits and expanding their schedule next season, there are hopes that the depth of the team will increase.

Photo by Tywen Kelly.
Photo by Tywen Kelly.

“Next year we really need to up the intensity, and knowing that we can actually compete in the league next year will really help us out. And having a fuller and deeper team will allow us to step up even more to the varsity level,” said Henelsmith.

The outcome of this season was more than Robinson or the team could ever imagine. The growth that was able to take place during their inaugural season was so immense and positive that it will allow for even more development for them next year and beyond, especially since they will only graduate two seniors, Nicolette Carnahan and Jade Anderson. The preparations for next season are already underway with the conclusion of this season, and there is no where to go but up for these Missionaries.