Relaxing spring break? Not for these athletes

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The women’s lacrosse team remained on campus over spring break to compete in two games and prepare for upcoming Patriot League play. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Charlie Berman, Assistant Sports Editor

For most Lafayette students, spring break is a chance to relax, spend time at home or travel with family and friends. However, for spring athletes, spring break is a time to showcase their skills and represent Lafayette across the country.

Crew

The crew team took its annual drive down to Florida to boost teamwork and camaraderie before their competitive season starts in April. Part of a tradition started in the 80s, the team all packed together in cars and took the 15-hour trip down together.

“The trips down and back were a highlight of the trip for a lot of people,” sophomore Rose Broderick said. “Most of us got grouped into cars with some teammates who we didn’t know very well, and by the time we got down to Florida, people had really begun to come out of their shell.”

While they did not compete in any regattas, the crew used this time to bond with their team, the first time they had a true opportunity to do so since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

“Practices were two and a half hours long and on most days. This took up most of our mornings and evenings, but in our little bit of free time we got to enjoy the nice weather at the hotel pool, hang out with teammates, and take naps in the air conditioning,” Broderick said.

Tennis

Lafayette men’s and women’s tennis flew down to Hilton Head, S.C. to play matches against Newberry College, Nichols College and George Mason University. While the George Mason match was canceled, Lafayette dropped both of the other matches.

“The trip was essential for getting more solidified as a team. Although the trip saw some hiccups, it helped us bond and become closer,” sophomore Davis Esslinger said. “I think after that trip we all know our place on the team.”

So far this year, the team has not achieved the success that they would have liked. However, like for crew, this trip was a way to gain momentum and build team chemistry going into the rest of the season.

“At this point, although we don’t have the results we are looking for, we have incredible momentum going into our Patriot League Play,” Esslinger said. “Since those are what really matter, I think that recent close matches will give us the needed experience for us to come into the Patriot League with some fire.”

Baseball

Baseball went all over the Carolinas, starting in Spartanburg to take part in a three-game series against Wofford. Wofford swept the Leopards, dominating both offensively and defensively. However, the Maroon and White avenged the loss with a victory over UNC Asheville 8-3 in 11 innings.

They proceeded to lose the next four games, one being to Eastern Tennessee State and the next three to Davidson University. However, the Leopards turned it around in their final game before they go into Patriot League play as they beat St. Peter’s 13-3 on Wednesday.

Softball

Softball played 12 games over the break, seven games in Madeira Beach and another five at the UMBC spring invite. They struggled over those games, going 1-11. However, as they went along, the games became closer and the offense began to improve.

Lacrosse

Lastly, both men’s and women’s lacrosse remained on campus and competed regularly. In the place of class, they filled their days with team bonding experiences as the only teams that left campus.

“We had lacrosse every day which kept us busy, and we spent our free time enjoying the nice weather and trying to get off campus when we could,” junior attacker Meghan McLachlan said. “On Friday, the entire team went to Klein farms to get ice cream and see the farm animals. We also did a baking competition in our Maroon and White teams that was judged by our coaches and athletic trainer.”

Both teams competed in two games each, with the men’s team taking on eighth-ranked Rutgers University and then Colgate University. They dropped both games, to Rutgers 10-22 and to Colgate 7-14. The women’s team lost to Villanova 9-16 and to American 9-13. However, both teams are looking upon the young season with hope.

“I definitely think the season has gone better than our record shows right now. We are focusing on Patriot League play as a brand new season and I feel that our non-conference games prepared us well for league play,” McLachlan said. “We have a lot of underclassmen on the field right now who are playing with confidence and improving every game.”

The spring-season athletes showcased their skills all over the country, but now they will lock into Patriot League play for the rest of their year in search of bringing championship glory to College Hill.