It was a day of firsts for the GW women’s lacrosse team Sunday – first home game, first shot, first goal, first hat trick, first win. The Colonials, recognized as a NCAA Division I team for the first time this year, began the season with a dominating 10-3 win over Marist College.
For many of the older members of the team Sunday was a day they never thought possible. Senior tri-captain Nadia Kachwaha could not help but gush with pride after the game.
“You know I cannot believe it happened,” she said. “It was my idea to start this as a club team, and I had no idea it would turn into this.”
Just a year ago the team was carrying goal cages down to 23rd and Constitution at 7 a.m. Now the women have their own field at the Mount Vernon Campus and their names light up on the scoreboard when somebody scores.
The Colonials did not waste any time getting on the board Sunday, as freshman Heidi Mayer connected 27 seconds into the game for the team’s first-ever goal as a Division I team.
GW kept Marist from scoring until 10:14 in the first half while the Colonials scored six unanswered goals, three coming before halftime. Junior Jacqueline Arfaa scored the next two goals, and freshman Jamie Lee added another to give GW a 4-1 lead heading into halftime. Lee scored two more goals to record GW’s first-ever hat trick. Kachwaha scored at 17:32 to make it 8-2 to put the game out of reach.
Rafaella Ceriello, another a tri-captain, was proud of her team’s performance despite all its nerves before the game.
“We just have a lot of great skilled players,” Ceriello said. “These are just a bunch of girls who love to play, and it shows. We are setting the standard for all teams who come after us.”
GW head coach Jennifer Morris saw a great deal of improvements from the team’s practices in the fall.
“We treated the last three days like it was game day to get them ready,” Morris said. “We’ve come so far from the fall; they are doing so well. They realized they could play a complete game.”
GW will play a 17-game schedule with eight games at the new field. The team’s next game comes March 13 against visiting Mt. Saint Mary’s College.