Westminster men’s and women’s lacrosse opens up their home seasons, hosting the first games at Priest Field in Blue Jay history, Saturday, Feb. 18 starting at 1 p.m.
“I am really looking forward to putting our hard work from the fall into play this Saturday,” said Coach Kristi Crowley. “It will be exciting to kick off the season in front of our own crowd!”
The women kick off their season with the first game at 1 p.m. The squad is led by senior Roberta Burns, juniors Peyton Hall and Lexi Lopez, and freshman Olivia Molino.
After learning the game and practicing through the fall, both teams are excited to start the season with the opportunity to play in front of their family and friends at Westminster.
“I’m really excited to get a full field experience and to see everyone come together after learning the game of lacrosse,” said Burns.
“I want us to grow as players, as individuals, and as a team,” added Lopez.
While the men’s team is playing for the first time at home immediately following the women’s game, the team already has one game under their belt. They competed at Kansas State Feb. 5, falling 14-1 to the Wildcats.
“We came in our first game with high energy and maintained it throughout the game,” said Coach Kristi Crowley. “We finished strong.”
Andrew Patterson scored the first-ever goal in the history of Westminster men’s lacrosse. He received a pass from Jeremy Hill and drove toward the goal from the top right. A strong right-hand shot flew past the Wildcat goalkeeper to tally the goal for Patterson.
The Blue Jays are led by captains Ethan Muffet, Dyllon Durell, and Jacob Freudenthal.
“It was crazy to see the transformation of our team during the first game,” said Freudenthal. “The Westminster Lacrosse that started the first half hardly resembled the team that played the second half.”
After playing in their first game, the team is even more excited to play at home for the first time.
“I think we will being a solid game and a lot of energy to the field this weekend when we play in front of our home crowd,” said Muffet.
Lacrosse was first announced as a club sport at Westminster March 22, 2016.
“The NCAA has labeled lacrosse as an upward trending sport nationally and in recent years we have seen it become an up-and-coming sport for young people throughout Missouri,” said Westminster’s Senior Director of Athletic Development. “With lacrosse, we are expanding the opportunities for Westminster’s student athletes and future student athletes, and establishing a national platform for our athletics program.”
On October 13, 2016, Pres. Benjamin Akande made the announcement to both teams that beginning in the fall of 2017, they would make the transition to NCAA Division III.
“I look forward to seeing how the teams grow as individuals and as a team,” said Crowley. “Many have never played before and they have come a long way. I’m excited to see what’s in store for us this season.”