Out of 21 players that make up the 2013 lacrosse team, seven have played their last game as a Boxer. With emotions running high, these women managed to go out with a bang.
A nine win and four loss season is a great way to finish a collegiate career, especially when all four years have been winning seasons.
As a senior in any sport, there comes a time when the thought that a career is coming to an end actually becomes a reality. The senior goalkeeper, Brittany Hartmann, expressed what it is like going into her final game.
“I have played soccer and lacrosse here all four years, and so eight seasons later, after I first started, I was finally going into the last game,” said Hartmann.
That game, part of a two game series in Michigan, ended in an 18-7 victory.
“It was definitely emotional because we realized it was the last time we would play as a group. It was crazy, we didn’t think it would ever come,” Hartmann said.
There is no doubt the returning players will miss having this group out on the field with them. Freshman Haley Korous knows how much they meant to the team.
“The seniors took it upon themselves to make sure we all felt included and were constantly offering useful tips to help us become better players,” she said.
Kelly Stevens, a big threat to opposing teams, has no doubt made the most of all four years. In her first season, Stevens totaled 24 goals, third highest on the team. Six of those came in a match against Linfield.
As a sophomore, Stevens moved up to the team’s second leading scorer, nearly doubling her total from the previous year. She began to acquire national NCAA Division III rankings.
In addition, she topped her single game record by scoring seven. She continued to break records her junior year, and moved into just as strong a senior year.
Another senior who is leaving is goalkeeper Brittany Hartmann.
She proved her abilities right away as a freshman. She ranked nationally in multiple categories of goalkeeping and set the school single season record of five wins.
The next year, she improved her rankings and set her season high of 19 saves in a game. As far as this season goes, Hartmann finished with a .467 save percentage and was credited with the nine wins.
Hartmann said that one of the biggest moments she will hold onto out of her experiences on the field is “beating UPS 15-10 at home freshman year and then again this year.” The University of Puget Sound is one of the biggest rivals of Pacific.
“Being able to overcome a team as competitive as they are, multiple times, meant a lot to us,” Hartmann said.
Kaitlyn Harper will also be leaving the Boxers. She has lead the team in scoring every year she has played.
Like her teammates, Harper ranked nationally her freshman year. She was 44th in goals per game out of all Division III players.
Continuing to shine her sophomore year, Harper improved defensively by causing 25 turnovers and had 50 ground balls.
Although not being able to participate in 2012, she came back as strong as ever her senior year with a total of 40 goals and 14 assists.
Midfielder Kristen Dick has done her part over her four years on the squad.
She made a defensive contribution in the win against Puget Sound in 2010 by causing turnovers.
In her sophomore year she marked her season high of four goals in a game, which she matched her junior year. This year Dick finished with 13 goals and 16 points.
Carmen Taplin showed improvement over her career. Between her first two years she scored a total of 27 goals.
However, in her junior year alone she tied Harper for the lead with 44 goals. This year, Taplin scored 30 goals and 32 points.
Hanna Landrus also played all four years. She scored her first goal her sophomore year.
One of Pacific’s best defenders has been Adrienne Wilburn. She did her part over her first few years on the squad, scoring timely goals and causing turnovers. Unfortunately, due to injuries she only saw parts of the season her junior year. She totaled three goals this season.
Some of the biggest challenges of the season turned out to be the most rewarding experiences of this team.
“We had half new players, some who had never played before. Somewhere we were able to come together and get that team chemistry,” Hartmann said. “I will definitely miss this team community the most, the fact that everyone is here for that competitive nature. Everyone has a goal and you work on building that together. I don’t think I’ll ever see that again in the same way.”
Pacific has started a team for Pacific alumni so there is an option for lacrosse athletes who are leaving the school to continue playing.
A lot of these seniors may take this route, or eventually go into coaching.
“This group has been a very important class all four years. Just having seven people all four years like this is pretty rare. It’s just a testimony to Pacific and they way it supports its athletes and also the way they support each other,” Head Coach Wynne Lobel said about her graduates.
Overall, the closing of one season means the start to the next.
“They have really escorted me through the last four years of my life. It has been such a pleasure to share the journey with them,” said Lobel.
Now, the Boxers will focus on improving their skills, taking on the leadership roles the seniors are leaving them with, and making next season even more successful than this one.