The women’s lacrosse team opened its season last weekend with a crushing 25-3 loss to the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils. Coming off a season in which they made it to the Final Four, the Blue Devils did not make it easy for the young Bison squad.
Despite the lopsided defeat, the Orange and Blue starting goalie Caroline O’Neill ’15 was not disheartened.
“Even though the game was extremely challenging, it gave many players the opportunity to step up as leaders and make big plays during crucial parts of the game, despite the scoreboard,” O’Neil said. “The amount of talent that Duke possessed was absolutely eye-opening and incredible to watch, especially for such a young team like us.”
Arriana Sajjad ’15 led the scoring for the Bison with two goals on two shots off the bench. Madison Hurwitz ’13 scored the only other goal of the contest for the Orange and Blue. All three goals were assisted by Chloe Chou ’15.
O’Neill had five saves but allowed 17 goals in the first half. She was replaced by Katherine Fraile ’14, who had two saves and eight goals against in the second half.
Duke dominated almost every statistical category, most notably in shots, out-shooting the Bison 45-8. In addition, the Orange and Blue were only able to recover 10 of the 24 ground balls and committed 18 turnovers to Duke’s 13.
The team has taken away many lessons from this game.
“I think the one thing our team needs to work on in order to have a successful season is transitioning the ball down the midfield to the offense in a quick, efficient manner,” O’Neil said. “We need to have the confidence to make long, risky passes down the field instead of just running the ball through defenders and getting checked.”
The team will have a busy 16-game schedule over the next two months of play. The first of these contests comes on Feb. 15 when the Bison will take on Penn State.