Lady Barons Plays First LAX Ever on the FUS Campus
STEUBENVILLE, OH – Franciscan University women's lacrosse played the first ever lacrosse game on the FUS campus in a season opening loss to Alma College. Despite a 23-4 loss, the Lady Barons reached a number of pregame challenges set by head coach Maura Conant.
Conant said she is trying to set small, realistic goals for her young team to help them improve and gain experience without feeling overwhelmed. The Lady Barons main goal against Alma was to have five minutes of possession. They crushed that goal by having the ball for nearly eight minutes of the game, a huge improvement from their scoreless preseason scrimmages.
"The more we have possession of the ball, the more we are going to score, "Conant said about how the team improved their offense in their first game. "We tripled our amount of possession and we went from not scoring a goal to scoring four."
In their inaugural year, the Lady Barons are forced to organize a roster fill with players whose experience and skill-sets range from standout high school lacrosse players to athletes that are still new to the lacrosse fundamentals.
"We have such a huge spectrum of talent," Conant said. "Our girls need to be patient with the process. We want to build a team unit with chemistry combined with stick skills. Everybody needs to contribute and be a part of the team."
A major contributor for the Lady Barons was freshman, Lauren Noce who scored a three of Franciscan's four goals, two of which were unassisted. Noce, a three-sport athlete at FUS, brought much needed varsity experience to the Lady Barons.
"She is a great contribution to the team," Conant said. "She challenged defenders and had a fearlessness which led to her scores."
Noce had only been with the team for a week before their game against Alma because of her commitment to the Lady Barons Basketball team. Despite her absence, she was able to score the first goal in Lady Baron lacrosse history. A ball that Conant said she kept, and will give to FUS Director of Athletics, Chris Ledyard.
While the milestone of the sport's first game on campus was a great moment for Franciscan Athletics, Conant said her team must maintain focus, and work towards a winning season. She added that the first step will be making the fundamentals second nature.
"A lot of our girls are thinking about the skill too much in the game," Conant said. "I want everyone to be comfortable with their stick so they can move the ball ahead comfortably."
The Lady Barons will have two days to work on their game as they prepare for their first away game of the season against Allegheny College on Feb 27 at 6 pm.