After finishing its non-conference schedule with a program-best record, lacrosse is aiming to qualify for the A-10 tournament for the first time since 2013.
GW (8-2, 1-1 A-10) began Atlantic 10 play last week and has just seven games left in the season. Out of the conference’s 10 teams, six make the postseason tournament – an event that has been won by Massachusetts for the last nine consecutive years.
Although the team did well in non-conference play, head coach Tracy Coyne said the entire team needs to refocus for conference action, where teams are more familiar with each other and wins and losses determine postseason seeding.
“We need to recognize is that in the A-10, every game is a rivalry game,” Coyne said. “Each team has some kind of significance, so when you have games that are significant you’ve got to be mentally tough.”
The Colonials split their first two conference contests, falling to George Mason 25–11 Thursday before capturing their first conference win in a 14–3 victory against St. Bonaventure Saturday.
Despite the loss to the Patriots, the Colonials are still enjoying a better record than last year, when they tallied only three wins all season. They set a new program record with two consecutive victories to start the year and held a program-high five-game win streak before Thursday’s defeat.
Offensively, the Colonials are led by senior attackers Jocelyn Donohue and Camaryn Kerns.
Donohue – the team’s leading scorer – picked up her 100th career point against St. Bonaventure’s Thursday. She has recorded 25 goals, three assists and a .820 shot on goal percentage so far this season.
Kerns has added 20 goals and two assists for the Colonials this season – good for second on the team.
“We have different people step up at different times and be willing to lead the team,” Coyne said.
Although the veteran duo has offered reliable performances for GW, Coyne said the driving force behind the team’s success has been the underclassmen. Thirteen different Colonials have found the scoreboard so far this season, including four freshmen and six sophomores.
“They’re getting better with each game and each performance,” Coyne said. “I’m hoping coming out of this that our result, as well as our resilience, is what it needs to be so that we qualify for the A-10.”
Sophomore midfielder Katie Quinn has notched 13 goals and six assists on the season – good for third on the team – including one goal and two assists against St. Bonaventure.
Freshman goalie Jenna Oler has also been a key player for the Colonials this season, playing in all 10 matchups and making nine starts. She has tallied 107 saves on the season and averages 9.37 stops per game.
Oler, who was named Defensive Player of the Week early last month and earned Rookie of the Week honors during the week of March 20, stopped 17 shots against Mount St. Mary’s, putting her tied for third in program history.
Although the loss to the Patriots is only the team’s second loss of the season, Coyne said her squad has tried to use every game as an opportunity to improve and learn from mistakes.
“This will be a good wake up call for the team,” Coyne said. “Especially in terms of what adjustments we need to make to make sure we qualify for the A-10 tournament.”
The Colonials will take on La Salle Friday at 2 p.m. at the GW Lacrosse Field.