Playing without the full complement of players, Frederick Community College’s women’s lacrosse team (4-6) lost to Howard Community College, 19-5, the second ranked team in the National Junior College Athletic Association, according to the NJCAA’s official website, on April 10 at FCC.
Dealing with injuries and departures from the team, FCC (4-6) played with just 11 players, one less than the 12 players that are permitted in lacrosse. The discrepancy was apparent, as their opposition bolstered an 18-player roster.
“It’s hard because we’re all tired and exhausted,” midfielder Leslie Lewis said about the challenges of playing without the 12th player on the field.
The undermanned Cougars were subject to fatigue due to their quick turnaround after playing the previous day against Monroe Community College, the top-ranked team in the NCJAA, a game played in New York. Facing the top two ranked teams in consecutive days would be a daunting challenge for an even strength team, let alone a team short a player. Without an opportunity for FCC to substitute fresh players in, HCC (11-0) controlled play from the opening face off, dominating time of possession and scoring the first six goals of the game.
“I never use excuses [about scheduling],” FCC coach Kim Lenta said. “You do what you’ve got to do.”
After HCC opened the game scoring the first six goals, FCC found the back of the net when Lewis fired a shot past the goalie to cut the deficit to five. HCC answered Lewis’ strike with four straight goals before Lewis added another goal with two minutes to play in the half.
FCC striked once again just 30 seconds later when Cayley Ruane scored a goal off of a free position shot to bring the score to 10-3 going into halftime.
“I know that I have a lot of power behind my shot, so I use that to my advantage,” Ruane said about her goal just before halftime.
Lewis added two goals in the second half to bring her game total to four. Lewis displayed her goal-scoring talent by using her size and attacking mentality on the field.
“I just drive. I’m not small, so I just use my momentum,” Lewis said about her style of play.
Howard scored nine second half goals to increase their advantage and win by 14 to continue their undefeated season.
In the remainder of the season, Lenta hopes the players use their disadvantage in numbers to serve as a life lesson on overcoming adversity in their futures.
“Sports are the perfect example for life,” Lenta said. “These girls aren’t going to be in ideal working conditions where they have all the resources available to them. This is just a preparation for life.”