Simmons Lacrosse opened the 2010 season in West Palm Beach, Fla. with an 18-9 loss to non-conference opponent Vassar College. The Sharks start the season 0-1, while the Brewers' final spring training game leaves them at 2-1 on the season.
On the Sharks' first-ever spring training trip, the squad found themselves down a few players due to schedule conflicts and injury. Playing the first game of the season without any substitutes was a challenge, but the team pulled together in the loss.
"We are very happy with how we played today; coming up with 9 goals and 11 saves against a very strong team is a great start to our season," said Head Coach Kate Leonard. "We started off looking a little nervous, but once the athletes realized we could keep up with Vassar we started to play more of our game. The possession on attack was strong. If today showed us anything, it is that we are fit and prepared for any challenge."
While Simmons went down 5-0 in the first 17 minutes of the game, first-year Emily Kaley (Manchester, Maine) scored the Sharks' first goal of the season off a pretty crease roll with 12:28 left in the half. This opened the door for Zoie Kaley's (Manchester, Maine) first collegiate goal, scored just two minutes later. Sophomore captain Meaghan Maurice (Portland, Maine) added two of her own before the close of the half. Vassar led 7-4 at intermission.
The Brewers pulled away in the second half, but Simmons continued to fight, scoring five more, including two in the last 25 seconds. "We talked about how important it was to win the draw, and we won those last few draws--which led to smart, quick goals," says Leonard.
Five players scored in the effort, and first-year goalkeeper Kelly Last (West Haven, Conn.) played an outstanding game between the pipes. "Kelly's clears were very strong and she made some incredible saves for us back there; we left her hanging with far too many defensive fouls, and she really stepped up," added Leonard.
Simmons' second game in Florida, scheduled against RPI, was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Sharks will continue training for their home opener against Anna Maria on Monday, March 22 at 7:00pm.