Columbia Women’s Lacrosse maintains undefeated title, returns home with three wins

Junior Malaika Motavalli sprints in attempt to score a goal in the first half against Wichita. Photo courtesy of Doug Henley.

Junior Malaika Motavalli sprints in attempt to score a goal in the first half against Wichita. Photo courtesy of Doug Henley.

Kaitlyn Marsh

Junior Malaika Motavalli sprints in attempt to score a goal in the first half against Wichita. Photo courtesy of Doug Henley.
Junior Malaika Motavalli sprints in attempt to score a goal in the first half against Wichita. Photo courtesy of Doug Henley

Saturday morning, Columbia Women’s Lacrosse (CWL) congregated at the Stryker Soccer Complex in Wichita, Kan. to participate in their first tournament of the season. Sunlight warmed dry field and a light breeze kept the sun from scorching participants – the day was set up for victory.

Once the team warmed up and took the field, CWL won its first scrimmage against Wichita Varsity 16-2. Juniors Malaika Motavalli and Kira Kirk and sophomore Emily Franke each made three of the 16 goals; Hickman senior Megan Shaneberger, Hickman sophomore Nicole Henley and freshman Meredith Rheel made two; and junior Emily Kinkade made her first goal of the season.
“I made my first goal when I was playing as a D-wing and I was up on attack. I won a ground ball and saw an opportunity, so I took it straight to goal. It was so exciting,” Kinkade said. “It was so exciting, especially because I’m mostly a defensive player, so making goals isn’t something I get to do all the time.”
Immediately after the first win, CWL relocated to the adjacent field to take on Edmond, Okla. In the first half, CWL pushed ahead by 9 points, consistently snatching draws and running quick offense to the goal. In the second half, Edmond started adding points to the board in the last few minutes, pulling within two points of CWL. However, the Columbians prevailed, triumphing over Edmond, 13-11. Of the 13 goals scored, Motavalli made four, Kirk made three, and Shaneberger and Henley made two. Franke and Kinkade both scored one.
CWL won their final game of the day against Omaha, Neb. 11-5. Of the 11 goals scored, Shaneberger, Kirk and Motavalli scored three each and Henley scored 2. After this last victory, CWL packed up and returned to Columbia undefeated and confident. According to head coach Angel Renick, this is the best start to a season that a coach could hope for.
“I expected them to do well,” Renick said, “but when you see them in action, and they put everything into play that they have been practicing and working hard towards, it still surprises me and fills me with pride.”
According to Renick, the satisfaction that comes with the success will motivate the girls to continue their hard work throughout the rest of the season.  CWL will host the first of two home tournaments at Cosmo Park on Saturday, April 13. The girls also play Wentzville JV at 11:15 a.m. and Omaha Varsity at 4:15 p.m. and hope for large crowd turn-outs at their tournaments in the upcoming season.
Kinkade said that she is “most looking forward to seeing how much [CWL] will improve, especially with these games as [CWL’s] starting point.”
By Kaitlyn Marsh