CMU women’s lacrosse team beats cold, McKendree

Allie Henderson braved the cold, wet weather conditions and went without leg warmers.

By the end of the Colorado Mesa University women’s lacrosse game Saturday afternoon at Walker Field, she didn’t feel so brave.

“I’m freezing, my hands are done, and I can’t feel my face,” Henderson said. “It’s even hard to talk right now.”

Henderson and the Mavericks stayed warm enough to roll past first-year program McKendree (Mo.) University 15-4 in a Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association game. Lake Erie (Ohio) College defeated McKendree 24-8 on Friday evening at Walker Field.

The junior was one of 11 players to score at least one goal for the Mavericks.

“We thought about this a lot because they are a first-year program,” CMU coach Abby Simpson said. “We didn’t want to do what other teams have done to us in the past. We got a lot of the girls in, a lot of people scored that haven’t. It was really nice to see.”

Five players scored their first goals of the season: Keri Kopchik, Kendall Tillman, Kelly Cronin, Melissa Niedfelt, Tayler Lansdown and Lauren Elliott.

Cronin and Tillman, both freshmen, scored their first career collegiate goals. They are two of six freshmen starting for the Mavericks.

“This is how it’s been the last three years,” Simpson said. “We’re growing. We’ll have four seniors next year. We’re relying a lot on freshmen right now, but they’re handling the pressure well.”

Henderson, Ashley Eickhoff, Kopchik and Tillman each scored two goals. Henderson added two assists.

The Mavericks (1-3, 1-2 WILA) jumped to a 4-0 lead with goals from Henderson, Cronin, Eickhoff and Henderson again.

The Bearcats (1-3, 0-1 WILA) answered with their first goal, but it wasn’t enough to slow the Mavericks.

Mesa scored six goals in a little more than eight minutes for a 10-1 lead.

“It’s pretty cold, but we started working as a team, passing it around and got the girls that haven’t scored their first goal,” Henderson said. “They got it out of their heads and played how they’re supposed to, like they do in practice.”

The Mavs led 11-1 at halftime.

“The first half was awesome, upbeat and quick,” Simpson said. “We were trying to get a couple people to score (in the second half), and I finally said, ‘We’ve got to pick up the intensity level a bit.’ They were looking for each other and looking for different options.’”

Colorado Mesa goalie Lauren Wells had three saves.

Injuries have added to the need for freshmen to play, as Simpson said sophomore Rachael Sutton is out for the season with a knee injury. Paige Amme was injured Wednesday but is expected to return.

“Relying on a lot of freshmen is tough, but they’ve been rising up to the occasion,” she said. “I’m very happy with them.”


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