With only four games remaining on its regular season schedule and its record back to an even 6-6 standing, the CSU women’s lacrosse team is looking to finish out strong despite having suffered from setbacks for much of the season.
When the Rams began their 2014 season, they did so with seven brand new faces and a long road of learning ahead of them. As all sports teams know and have probably experienced at one time or another, learning to play together with half of the roster being new to the team is being no easy feat.
“At the beginning of this season we lost a lot of seniors and starters. We had a new coach in the mix, we had lost a lot of really good players and there were lots of freshmen coming in – so it was a really big transition,” attacker Kayla Fertman said. “We faced all of those challenges and worked through it all, and at the start of the season we were still working through things just in regards to figuring everything out.”
This setback showed through much of CSU’s early season. In their first tournament in Santa Barbara, the Rams went an even 2-2 which wasn’t anything to scoff at given the circumstances.
“When we went to Santa Barbara there were a lot of holes as far as cohesiveness goes,” head coach Liz Melhan said. “So many of the players hadn’t played together before, but we went 2-2 in that tournament which worked out well for us because we were getting our mojo going.”
After the initial losses and hits to the team’s morale, they continued on a downward slide that left the team feeling defeated. However, things recently have taken a turn for the better as this team has developed their cohesiveness.
“We’re just growing as a team right now. I feel like our trajectory is 100 percent upwards” Melhan said. “The amount of growth they have shown from the start of the season to now is immense.”
As CSU looks ahead, it does so with still a few hitches in its step, but hopeful nonetheless.
“When we’re down in the game, we kind of give up on each other and get in that mode where we feel like we can’t come back,” attacker Ali Slyne said. “It’s definitely something we need to work on because we really struggle in come behind wins.”
The Rams know they are capable of being successful and clawing their way back from deficits, but the formula to their success is still somewhat elusive.
“Our recent success has shown us that there is some type of switch that happens,” Fertman said. “If we’re able to turn that switch on, we can be successful on the field. But we’re having having the problem where sometimes we can turn on the switch and sometimes we can’t.”
And their head coach is the first one to support the Rams in their quest to get back on the right track.
“This team can go as far as anyone in the nation,” Melhan said. “They’ve got everything they need, so right now the mental aspect is their biggest block and we’re working on getting through that and we’re making progress, so just one step at a time.”
Collegian Reporter Hannah Cornish can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @HMCornish.
Current record: 6-6
Biggest struggles this season:
-Seven new faces
-Looking for their balance in cohesion