Columbia Women’s Lacrosse wins 1, loses 2 in Witchita

Kira Lubahn

Junior Shelby Richardson prepars for a pass from a team member. Photo by Belquis Elhadi.

During their last weekend of away games, Columbia Women’s Lacrosse (CWL) competed in the Wichita Wicked Tournament. The team left on the Friday before game day because of the long, five-hour drive.
After spending the night in a hotel, CWL arrived at the fields before 7:30 a.m., eager to start warming up for their first game of the day.
Once on the field, CWL spent a few minutes inspecting the way it was set up. The yellow paint the fields were marked with was difficult to see on the dewy grass and in the soft morning light, but the team adapted and started the day off with their second win of the season.
CWL won against Wichita Varsity 12-9.  Senior offensive captain Elsa Neal made three of CWL’s goals; Hickman sophomore Brittan Bennett and sophomore Hannah Cajandig each put in two goals apiece.  Senior Jessica Josst, Hickman junior Megan Shaneberger, sophomore Malaika Motavalli and West Junior High School freshman Nicky Henley also each scored a goal. Sophomore goalies Josie Miller and Jessica Klein both made three saves.
“I think we did really well. We all did our best; we worked on ground balls and we made a lot of shots,” Bennett said. “We put our all into it and we got a win.”
There was no chance to take a break and celebrate, however, as CWL went straight into their next game, this one against Omaha Varsity, a team CWL considered a friend. The game ended with a score of 10-5, in Omaha’s favor. Of the five goals made by CWL, three were scored by Bennett and the other two by Shaneberger. Miller and Klein made seven and two saves, respectively.
“We played really well for a team who had just played a game right beforehand. Omaha was really nice, but they were more experienced and did better with the fundamentals,” sophomore Ginny Tharpe said. “If we can work hard and master those, we can do a lot better and maybe even beat them.”
As the day wore on, temperatures rose higher and higher, creating an environment where hydration was key and players could easily become fatigued. After an hour long break, CWL played their third game against Arkansas Varsity.
While CWL started the game by making two goals in quick succession, they ultimately fell to Arkansas, 17-5. Bennet scored two of the five goals, while the rest were made by Shaneberger, Cajandig and Motavalli. Miller prevented five goals and Klein held off four.
“They were an amazing team and they really tested us,” Motavalli said. ” Even though we lost, I think we showed that Columbia has massive potential.”
CWL’s last weekend of games will be May 12 at Cosmo Park at 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
“It is so much fun to watch the girls play. Even when we are behind, we keep our spirits up and continue to play strong,” West Junior High School freshman Emily Franke said. “You can tell they love the game. We’re looking forward to next weekend’s games.”
By Kira Lubahn