Columbia Women’s Lacrosse plays varsity teams, learns from losses

Kira Lubahn

Junior Shelby Richardson sets up for a pass from a team member. Photo by Belquis Elhadi.
For their second weekend of away games, Columbia Women’s Lacrosse (CWL) headed out to Kansas City, leaving Columbia at 5:45 a.m. to insure they would have time to warm up before their first game.
Warm-up was essential as CWL had to get used to the turf field as they were used to playing on grass.
One major difference between playing on a grass field and playing on a turf was the way the ball moved. While grass would slow down a ball and allow for easier pick-up, balls on turf roll for a long time. CWL had to acclimate quickly to the new environment, especially since they were playing Varsity games.
CWL’s first opponent was St. Teresa’s Academy Varsity. It proved a rout for CWL as the final score was 13-2 to St. Teresa’s. While 10 of St. Teresa’s goals were made in the first half, CWL’s defense stepped up their game after half-time and held them to three more goals.
Both of CWL’s goals were made by offensive captain senior Elsa Neal.
“I think the team did really well. The first half we were just getting used to the turf, getting used to playing that level of team, and the second half we improved by only letting them make those three shots to our one. It was much better,” head coach Angel Renick said. “There was a lot of improvement. I think the fact that we can lose with grace shows how great of a team we are, that the girls are out their truly for the sport and not just for the win.”
The second game was against Notre Dame de Sion Varsity. The game ended 20-2 with Sion in the lead. This time the two goals for CWL came from Neal and West Junior High School freshman Nicky Henley.
“I think we stayed positive in general. People can get negative, but we kept at it,” sophomore Emily Kinkade said.  “We didn’t give up; we didn’t say, ‘Oh, they’re beating us, we might as well not try.’ We kept going, and that’s the biggest thing.”
In CWL’s last game of the day, they played Lee’s Summit North Varsity. The final score was 15-6 to Lee’s Summit North. While CWL only made a single goal in the first half, they once again made a strong comeback after half-time by making five more goals. The first three goals of the game were scored by Hickman sophomore Britton Bennett, and single goals were made by Henley, Hickman junior Megan Shaneberger and Neal.
“Overall, I felt that the game could have been an even match, but we were tired from our first two games. We often make a comeback in the second half; it takes time to adjust to how the other team plays and to build from our mistakes,” Neal said. “We need to work on our intensity, our desire to score. We need to want the ball. I think we always learn from our mistakes, and we always seem to bring our intensity back for the next weekend. I see every player improve from weekend to weekend. Every girl is improving and that makes me very proud.”
CWL will travel to Wichita next weekend, but they will host home games May 12. The games will be at 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. at Cosmo Park.
By Kira Lubahn