The Edinboro women’s lacrosse team thought heading south would allow them to play lacrosse outside and on a field.
They were surprised by how far south they needed to go.
The Fighting Scots left snow-blanketed Edinboro for Philippi, West Virginia, in hopes of finding better conditions and a match against Alderson Broaddus to kick off their 2015 campaign. However, the forecast of snow thwarted that idea.
Edinboro continued to head south and finally found sun, grass and a team to play. Boro battled Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, on March 8 to open up the 2015 season.
The Scots (1-0) exited that match victorious by a score of 17-3.
Despite the result and the Wolves record of 0-4 heading into the match, head coach Kevin Cooke knew the contest was going to be a good early season fight for his ladies.
“Early in our schedule that was probably our biggest question mark,” Cooke said. “That was one of our biggest tests as far as our first three games were concerned. They were picked third for their conference and you never really know what to expect. You start to look at scores of their previous losses and how you would fare. Newberry is a team that could beat you. If you don’t show up and play, Newberry will beat you.”
Edinboro came ready to play against Newberry, especially in the first half. The Scots stormed out of the gate, finding the back of the net 14 times in the opening frame.
The Scots scored six unanswered goals to start off the match, including two from sophomore Emily Peters, her first coming just 54 seconds into the match.
Peters finished with four goals to go along with three assists. Junior Anna Purdy chipped in three goals and two assists with junior Becca Martin tallying two goals and a game-high four assists.
“Her field vision her freshman and sophomore years was good, but now it is much better,” Cooke said of Martin, who led the PSAC with 36 assists a year ago.
“She is able to handle a little more of the pressure that college lacrosse is going to bring to her. She really has taken a step in the right direction for her because teams last year didn’t know what to expect out of her and this year they are going to get her best and I’m really excited about that.”
The second half was much quieter for the Scots offensively, but many players received valuable playing time.
Freshman goalkeeper Paige Skinner, who received her first career start and tallied four saves while giving up two goals, earned some great playing time against Newberry, which looks like it will be the norm this season.
“Paige is our goalie. Paige is our number one,” Cooke said. “Autumn [Held] is no longer with the program. Paige had a chance to step into the starting spot and I think she is looking great. In warm ups and practice, she has been absolutely spectacular.”
Cooke continued saying that Held “decided not to return for the spring,” about three weeks ago.
Held started every game last season for Boro and finished fifth in the PSAC with 8.06 saves per game on average.
With limited preparation time and the heart of its schedule quickly approaching, Cooke admits there is still work to be done.
“We have got to sort that out,” he said about what to work on moving forward. “I think defensively we played good against Newberry, but we didn’t play great. I saw some good things, but not great things and to be in the PSAC conference you need to be great. Something we have been working on and practicing since the game is defense and different types of games and schemes. We are still early in the season and we are still evaluating personnel.”
Edinboro opens up the PSAC portion of its schedule on Saturday when it welcomes Shippensburg to Sox Harrison Stadium before visiting Lock Haven on March 24. The Saturday match against the Red Raiders begins at 1 p.m.
Editor’s Note: The Scots swept a doubleheader on Sunday, defeating Alderson Broaddus 19-6 and West Virginia Wesleyan 14-10. Their Tuesday match against Wheeling Jesuit was postponed. They are now 3-0 this season.
Tyler Trumbauer is the sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.