LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Stetson lacrosse team played its first and only exhibition of the spring over the weekend, falling to the Haudenosaunee National Team by a score of 19-10. The contest between the Hatters and members of the Iroquois was a part of the Champion Challenge at ESPN's Wide World of Sports.
"The experience of taking the team down to the Wide World of Sports to play against a national team is one that we would jump at again!" Stetson head coach Nicole Moore said. "The opportunity for us to play against outside competition before we start our season was invaluable. We were able to see what works for us, what we need to continue to work on, and get the start of the season jitters out. We were able to see some great combinations in play and it gives us feedback to use as a teaching tool."
Stetson will begin its regular season at home at the Athletics Training Center on Sunday, Feb. 10 against Liberty. This weekend's contest was the Hatters' only game against outside competition before the first ever lacrosse season at Stetson truly begins.
"We opened up by scoring the first goal and really played well in the first half," Moore said of the game. "We had to make adjustments at halftime to counter their attack, and the team took those points and made the changes. Although we only had nine practices prior to the game, the team ran our plays well and started to find success with one another."
After recently being selected in a tie for second in the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason coaches' poll, there has certainly been a wealth of excitement surrounding Stetson's lacrosse team. This weekend, a number of individuals stood out to Moore.
"Whitney Meyers kept us in the game and came up with some huge saves," Moore said of the goalkeeper. "Mary Kate O'Sullivan was solid in the midfield and showed the tenacity that she brings to the game. Mallory Tluchowski and Danielle Horgan both stood out on the attack by putting the ball in the back of the net. It was exciting to see Paige Levesque open up the scoring with the game's first goal since she is returning from an injury. Her presence will be a great addition to our attack. Though these are just a few that stood out, our entire team played hard, stayed positive, in the moment, and showed their potential in coming together on the field!"
Stetson will continue to practice over the next two weeks before opening the 2013 campaign with seven straight home games.