A challenging non-conference schedule in the early stages of the season has left the women’s lacrosse team with a 1-5 record.
But rather than sulking, the Bobcats are determined to use the stiff competition they have faced so far to their advantage as they prepare to open conference play.
The team opened its conference schedule and began the quest to qualify for the NEC tournament on Sunday morning at St. Francis (PA).
To do so, the Bobcats will have to improve upon the program-high four NEC wins they attained last season.
“I feel the team will compete at a high level in the NEC conference this year. Our first goal it to make it to the NEC tournament,” Head Coach Stephy Samaras said. “Our team’s strength would have to be our dedication to what we want to accomplish along with the dedication that each individual player has put into making our team a team.”
The top four teams in the eight-team conference qualify for the tournament, and the Bobcats were picked fourth in the NEC preseason poll.
Quinnipiac trailed Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart in the poll, although the Bobcats did receive one first-place vote.
The team’s lone victory this season came against Marist College in a game played at Yale University. The Bobcats were spurred on by junior attacker Christy Smallman, of Boxford, MA, who set a new program single-game high with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the 15-10 win.
Smallman eclipsed the old record of eight points, which had been reached four times, including once by her.
The offensive outburst also earned Smallman, who leads the Bobcats in points with 17, NEC Player of the Week honors.
“I was extremely honored to receive the Player of the Week award, but most of all I was just really happy to get a win against Marist,” Smallman said. “We really needed a win at that point and I think we all stepped up and did our jobs.”
Smallman has continued to improve every season for the Bobcats.
After recording 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in her freshman season, Smallman nearly tripled her production last season, finishing third on the team in scoring with 19 goals and 14 assists totaling 33 points.
“Christy is a competitor when she is on and off of the field,” Samaras said. “From last year to this year, Christy has improved on every aspect of her game because it is what she willed of herself. She has gotten faster, stronger and taken her stick skills to a higher level. This has allowed her to play anywhere on the field, for any given situation.”
In their only home game of the season, the Bobcats dropped a 15-9 decision to Harvard.
Their next game at home, where they went 5-2 last season, is on