Women’s lacrosse hopes to take on second season with full-force



Senior Sofia Michael in a game during the 2019 season. Michael led the team with 60 goals a season ago.

Mason Jones

As their 2020 campaign commences, the Ashland University women’s lacrosse team looks to improve from their season a year ago as they posted a record of five wins and 11 losses.

Last year was the inaugural season of women’s lacrosse at AU, with some players learning how to pick up a lacrosse stick for the first time. The sport can be difficult to pick up for some as it requires one to be ambidextrous, meaning you use both hands equally well.

Regardless of the little experience the team had with their stick skills, head lacrosse coach Shaun Williamson was proud of his players and how they finished after the first year.

“Last season we were pretty pleased with where we ended up,” Williamson said. “Obviously we would have liked one or two more wins, but finishing 5-11, finishing near the bottom middle of the GLIAC conference, we can’t really complain about that. We did face nationally ranked teams as well as new programs, so we seemed to be the best of the newbies.”

Williamson has seen firsthand the toughness of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and is prepared to face the teams again. After dipping their toes in the water last season, Williamson says the team is ready for full-force improvement.

“During the fall, we were able to see a lot of development with the players as we played in scrimmages, saw what the girls worked on over the off-season and what the freshman are capable of,” Williamson said. “Overall, the progress of the team has improved significantly from when they first started.”

Senior attacker Sophia Micheal has witnessed her team’s progress firsthand. As an experienced player, she was able to assist the newcomers and help wherever possible.

“I don’t know if I would have the courage to pick up a new sport in college,” Micheal said. “I came here and saw girls who have never picked up a stick before and I helped them with the rules and basic stick handling skills since I’ve been playing for so long. The improvement from last year to this year is incredible.”

Micheal, who transferred to AU from Anne Arundel Community College for the first season of women’s lacrosse, led the team last year with 60 goals, 114 shots and 96 shots on goal.

Micheal is not only proud of her team but also glad that her team has her back and is very trusting to her and to the team as a whole.

“Everyone on our team contributes, and everyone is here for a reason and we all know that,” she said. “Our team environment is fantastic, we get together on and off the field the same way, and we support each other. If someone is having a bad day we cheer them up; carrying this type of positive and trusting energy onto the field helps to keep us strong and our heads high. Whether it’s a win or loss the energy is still there, carrying over to practices, games and whatever we do.

Team chemistry stands at the forefront of the lacrosse team, as it helps them progress and support each other through thick and thin.

“We’re no longer a first year program,” Williamson said. “That’s what I keep telling them … they need to know that they have this great potential.”

The women’s lacrosse team still has a long way to go in the season, but with the guidance and leadership the team has and displays, the team will strive to be the best it can be while competing in one of the toughest Division II conferences in the country.

The team is currently 1-1 this season, suffering a loss 19-10 to Tiffin, but dominating Charleston (WV) 16-8.

The Eagles will play their next game on March 6 against Notre Dame College.