Women’s Lacrosse Kept Busy Over Spring Break


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova brought home an overtime win over SDSU

Elijah McDow, Staff Writer

Over spring break the Villanova women’s lacrosse team traveled across the country, going 1-1, against both San Diego State and No. 21 University of Southern California. 

Villanova lost to USC 15-4, but brought home a win against San Diego State 10-9 in overtime. 

While the Wildcats did travel to the West Coast for competition, the spring break trip was also  an invaluable opportunity for team bonding. 

In between their two games and practices there was also plenty of fun. In addition to being hosted by the families of freshman midfielders Maddie Luer and Elena Torres, the Wildcats also went to see sea lions along the coast, took a visit to the San Diego Zoo, and had a team bonfire on the beach.

For head coach Jill Batcheller her best memory from the trip was the countless opportunities for team bonding. 

“We could see the team get so much closer just by being together for so long” [6 days] Batcheller said. “The quality time really makes a difference in their [the players] relationships and you can always see a huge benefit on the field from their trust in each other and playing for each other and I think this is where these trips really pay off in the long run.”

Back on the field, the matches in California provided a measuring stick for Batcheller and her staff. Going into their matchup against USC the Wildcats were aware they were going to be playing against a zone defense which was something the team had not yet experienced.

Having now faced off against a zone Batcheller feels that her team is more prepared for Big East play. 

“I think one of our big takeaways was the speed of game that it takes to play at that level,” Batcheller said. “One of my goals from this game was that our team would be exposed to that [USC’s] type of speed. I don’t think we had totally seen that this season.”

As for the match against San Diego State, it marked the third time this season that the Wildcats would go into overtime, but the first time they would be doing so away from Villanova Stadium.

 “I think that every time we have been in overtime or a close situation, we keep handling it a little bit better each time,” Batcheller said. “This time there was belief but also confidence. We’ve been here, we know what to do, and we know how to put this away and I think this is a huge learning lesson ahead of Big East play.”

After their team bonding on the West Coast, the Wildcats returned to campus to square off against No.2 Maryland. The Terrapins dominated this match winning 15-6, resulting in a 5-2 overall record for Villanova at the end of their spring break matchups. 

Despite the time change and travel the Wildcats came ready to play much to the surprise of Batcheller and her staff. 

“You would think that the energy would be low and maybe they would be tired from the trip or nervous to play a top opponent,” Batcheller said. “I think that one of the things this team has done well this year is keeping the same energy and preparation no matter who they’re playing. The energy and belief were great going into the game, and I think the biggest thing for us is the execution once were in the moment.”

Despite the loss, the Wildcats had their fair share of positive moments. Of the six goals the Wildcats put on the board, sophomore attacker Sydney Pappas scored three of them, Luer scored two and sophomore attacker Sami Carey scored one.

While the offensive efforts weren’t enough to best the nationally ranked Terrapins, Batcheller was still proud of her team for keeping a positive attitude.

“One of the positives was our goalie [Sophomore, Cate Gallagher]” Batcheller said. “She ended up having 17 saves. An average game is around 10 games so she [Cate} had an amazing game against a top team.”

In addition to the heroics of Gallagher the Wildcats also did a better job of taking care of the ball which was something Batcheller was hoping her team could improve following the game against USC. 

While the Wildcats may no longer boast an undefeated record, the two losses to nationally ranked opponents have provided an amazing opportunity for the team to get better and build more confidence.

The Wildcats will have a chance to show what they have learned on Wednesday as they take on Lafayette College at the Villanova Stadium. 

The game is set for 1p.m.