By Matt Noonan
Kate Sarnacki could not have asked for a better start to her fourth season with the Springfield College women’s lacrosse team.
The Granby, Massachusetts native tallied seven goals and one assist in her team’s season-opener last Saturday against Babson College before Taylor Pichel netted the game-winner in overtime on a free position attempt.
“I had no idea what to expect going into that first game, especially against Babson,” said Sarnacki, who also recorded three caused turnovers and captured one draw control. “I wasn’t sure how their defense would come out, and if we would have to make adjustments if they threw a face guard (at us), but they just let us play and we were able to put the ball in the back of the net.”
While Sarnacki led all scorers with seven goals, Springfield received additional contributions from Taylor Pichel (three goals and one assist) and Katie Martel (three goals). First-year Maddy Roy recorded her first collegiate goal and classmate Colleen Browne picked-up her initial win between the pipes with seven saves.
Springfield’s opening-day win should certainly provide the Maroon and White with some momentum heading into their next few games – Springfield, as well as the Beavers, are playing a conference-only schedule this spring with each team competing in five contests. The Pride are currently one of three teams in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) that boasts a 1-0 record as both Coast Guard Academy and Wheaton College captured their initial contests of the 2021 season last weekend.
With four games remaining, Sarnacki, along with her teammates, know each matchup is critical in accomplishing their overall goal of winning a conference championship.
“I think it’s even more important with a shortened season because it sets the tone,” said Sarnacki, who has netted 115 goals in 44 contests with the Pride.
“In a normal season, the first half of your schedule is against non-conference opponents so you have time to figure out what works and what you need to adjust to prepare for conference play. This year, we don’t have that time or luxury, so scoring an opening-day win boosts our confidence as a team, but also fuels us to keep getting better every day because we know what we are capable of (doing on a weekly basis).”
Springfield will visit Coast Guard this Saturday in what is certainly an important contest for both squads. The Bears defeated Emerson College last weekend by a score of 17-9, and will attempt to erase memories of a 12-8 setback in 2019 that saw Sarnacki record four points on three goals and one assist.
Said Sarnacki, “We will definitely work to improve our transition game a little bit, and focus on discipline so we can limit our yellow cards on Saturday. Our main focus will be to continue improving all over the field while continuing to enjoy this opportunity to play together.”
News and Notes from the NCAA D-III Lacrosse World
- In case you missed it, Coast Guard Academy’s Etta Davis recorded her 100th career point last weekend when the Bears commenced their 2021 season with a 17-9 win over Emerson College.
- After starting their season last spring by winning three of four contests, the Trinity College men’s lacrosse team has continued that momentum, winning back-to-back games this month against Castleton University and Endicott College. Dane Crowley highlighted the Bantams’ second win on Wednesday against the Gulls by capturing 22 of 28 face-offs while Reid McDonald recorded a season-high three goals and four points. Trinity will host Union College in a non-conference clash on Sunday, March 28 with face-off scheduled for 1 p.m.
- The Gettysburg College women’s lacrosse team will attempt to score its second-straight win on Saturday when they host Muhlenberg College – the Bullets opened their shortened season last weekend with a 16-8 victory against Washington College. Bri Stokes, who played lacrosse locally at Lincoln-Sudbury, recorded her 100th career point in her team’s 2021 season-opener.
- The Fairleigh Dickinson University women’s lacrosse team has won five-straight contests – they recently scored an exciting (and impressive) win against Stevens Institute of Technology. With the win, the Devils improve to 3-0 in conference play.
- SUNY Geneseo outlasted Brockport in a battle of Top 25 teams on Wednesday, thanks Nicole Voci, who concluded the contest with seven points on four goals and three assists. Allison Jennings led Brockport and all scorers with five goals.
- Can Christopher Newport top the University of Lynchburg for the second time in six days? We’ll find out tomorrow when the Captains visit the Hornets for a 7 p.m. face-off. The Blue and White defeated Lynchburg last Saturday by a score of 10-9 (OT) – it was the program’s first win against Lynchburg in three attempts.