Women’s lax selects captains

Rob Guerrera

The Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse team has already taken the first steps towards a successful 2004 campaign. With the announcement of senior Ann Paquette and junior Jen Belk as captains, Head Coach Stephy Samaras has talents from both sides of the ball leading her team. Paquette is coming off a 40 point season, while Belk enjoyed a breakthrough season, becoming one of the top defenders in the NEC.

“Being named captain has been a great honor,” Belk said. Belk’s tenacious defensive play helped the Bobcats to an eight win season, the most the program has enjoyed since joining the conference. Paquette acknowledges this, “[Jen] is one of the most experienced defenders on our team. She always gives 100 percent, and her teammates know they can count on her. This season she will get the recognition she deserves.”

One of those eight wins came against Wagner, in a game that saw the Bobcats down by three at the halftime only to regroup and pull out an 8-7 victory. Hard-fought victories like the Wagner game taught the Bobcats how to win, an experience that, Belk says, is invaluable, “I think that experience is everything when participating in any type of athletic competition. We have gained the experience we need in order to be a threat.”

Speaking of threats, Paquette epitomizes the word. Even if you ignore Paquette’s 17 goals last season, her 23 assists are impossible to overlook, a fact that is not lost on Belk. “Teams respect both her speed and her scoring ability,” Belk said. “Even if she is marked up tight, she still finds a way to make the play.” A quick look at the record book will tell you Paquette lets her play do the talking. She is third in points, fourth in goals and first in assists, but she isn’t satisfied yet. “Well I guess I have an accomplished career, but the one thing I really want is to win the NEC,” Paquette said. “My past three seasons we have never made it to the tournament. I want to make and then win the NEC.”

As a defensive player whose efforts may not always show up in a box score, Belk realizes she has other responsibilities as captain. “Everyone is watching what you do so it is vital that you make the right decisions,” Belk said. “Being a role model is a difficult task, but I feel that I am up for that challenge.”

Belk is all about rising to meet the challenge this season, and she will make sure that her teammates are just as prepared. “In order for us to finish on top of the NEC standings, we need to take our season one game at a time,” said Belk. “We cannot take any team for granted.”

John C. Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” With Belk and Paquette at the helm, the Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse game is certainly headed in the right direction.