Women’s lacrosse hopes to defend conference title

Brett Morrison| Lindenlink Contributor

The Lindenwood University Women’s Lacrosse team has taken to the field in hopes to defend their NCAA conference championship.

Last year the team went 8-0 in conference play in the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (WILA), winning Lindenwood’s first ever NCAA conference title.

 The Lady Lions finished the season at 17-2 losing to two very powerful teams at the NCAA Division 2 level. Those losses came from more of self- defeat issues rather than not being up to the right skill level according to fifth year starter Justiene Groothius.

 Groothius, who has been team captain for the past two years, has an impressive resume so far at LU. She was named First Team All American in 2010 and then followed that up with by being named First Team All Conference in 2012.

 She has also been named Academic All American for each of the four years at LU. Groothius is returning to the squad for a fifth and final season after being granted an extra year of eligibility because of the transition to the NCAA.

 Groothius said, “as a team, we have been looking good so far. We have been practicing hard and look forward to getting the season started in February.”

  “We have a young team with lots of talent but have three girls that came in at start of semester to help with the experience aspect,” Groothius said. “That will be a nice addition to start the season.”

 The team graduated six seniors last year making for some big spots to be filled. This year’s roster will be made up of seven freshmen, seven sophomores, seven juniors, two seniors and a fifth year graduate student.

 Erin Abbot, a freshman out of Whitby, Ontario, Canada, is one of the key additions to the team this year.

 “I cannot wait for the season to start,” Abbot said. “We have been working so hard on the practice field and in the weight room, I can’t wait to see how the results will pan out.”

 Abbot did not expect to see how much more dedicated the girls on the team are at the college level.

 “We work out hard and practice much more than we did in high school. The coaches put more time into our team then I ever could have imagined,” Abbot said. “It’s made me a much better player.”  

 The team has set some pretty high goals for the 2013 season. The Lions want to defend their conference title by going undefeated once again in conference play.  The team also wants to keep their goals against total to under four goals per game.

 The Lady Lions biggest match ups of the season will be when the team travels to New Jersey to take on the No. 1 ranked Adelphi University in non-conference play. The biggest conference match up will take place for the team when they host rival school Regis University on April 18.