By Greg Dudek
The Bridgewater State University women’s lacrosse team could not stay perfect forever.
The Lady Bears dropped their first game of the season last Wednesday against Mount Holyoke College, 16-10, before bouncing back with a 12-9 win at Westfield State University on Tuesday. Their record is now 11-1 and 3-0 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).
Before the loss to Mount Holyoke, the Bears were 10-0, which tied the second longest winning streak in program history.
However, the Lady Bears are not letting the setback take them off course.
“The only thing that we can do is move on from it,” said Bridgewater State head coach Erika Smith. “Just learn from it, and learn from our mistakes. We just need to keep improving and looking forward to the rest of the season and our conference games that are coming up.”
They did move forward with their win over Westfield State. Junior midfielder Taylor Clancy and junior attack Melanie Appleman each had three goals in the game and sophomore attack Riley Cachelin chipped in with two goals.
A big part of their success this season is the play of the offense. The Lady Bears rank fifth in the country in goals per game and have great depth with seven players with 20 or more goals and six players with 10 or more assists.
“It’s more difficult for opponents to defend just one player when we do have a lot of different threats on the field,” Smith said. “That’s a big bonus for us that our opponents just can’t shut down one girl. And if it happens, we have other girls who will step up and do just as well.”
Freshman midfielder Lauren Geary is an important part of the offensive attack. Geary has 28 goals and 10 assists in her first season as a Bear, and two school records as well. Against Worcester State University two weeks ago, Geary had a school-record 20 draw controls and has the school-record for draw controls in a single season.
“It’s been more of a team effort,” said Geary about her performance. “Even though I have the draws, everyone has the assists for me when I score.”
The Lady Bears have also receive contribution on the offensive end from Cachelin who leads the team in points with 33 goals and 13 assists and Clancy with 32 goals and 12 assists. Senior attack Jill Caramello is third on the team in goals with 31 and has nine assists.
While the offense has been explosive all season, the defense has done its part too, led by senior defender Olivia Galvin. Bridgewater State is ranked eighth in country in scoring defense.
In an unexpected situation, freshman goalie Chandler Ross has stepped in and played well between the pipes after an injury sidelined starting sophomore goalie Jessica Polaski.
“We are so happy to get her and have her on the team,” said senior midfielder Shelby Farland. “She has stepped up huge and has been a huge part of our record this year.”
With five games remaining in the last week of the regular season, the Lady Bears are trying to keep the pressure off of themselves as they make a run at a MASCAC title.
“I don’t think it takes any pressure off or adds any on,” Farland said. “We have a goal, we want to achieve it and we are going to do anything we can to get there.”
Bridgewater State will face Wheaton College today before hosting conference opponent Framingham State University on Saturday.
Greg Dudek is the Comment’s Managing Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @gdudek10 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.