The Ithaca College women’s lacrosse team played its last regular season home game against Vassar College. It was also the second game of a back-to-back weekend series against Liberty League Conference opponents. The Bombers had no trouble dispatching Bard College 22–0 in the previous game on Friday, and the quick turnaround proved to have little effect as the South Hill squad soundly defeated Vassar 18–3.
Despite the rout, there was extra excitement in the air due to senior day festivities. The weather was sunny in the 50s, and messages of encouragement written in brightly colored chalk covered the walkway leading out of the Athletics and Events Center and down to the field at Higgins Stadium. Defenders Molly Long and Elizabeth Sauer and goalkeeper Kimberly Presuto are the only seniors, but each has left a big impact on the team.
“This class has done so much for this program,” head coach Karrie Moore said. “It’s been a fun year in that I feel like the seniors have taken a lot of pride in getting this freshman class where it needs to be. They were sophomores when I came in, and they’ve been just so dedicated and worked so hard, and they just care so deeply about putting this program where we all feel like it should be.”
Sauer has been a leader for this Bombers team and an anchor on defense. She has forced 32 turnovers on the season to go with 45 ground balls. Despite the individual success, Sauer’s thoughts were with the team when asked what she’d remember most about playing in the Blue and White.
“Definitely everyone’s pride, passion and grit,” Sauer said. “We all just play as one and play for each other. I think that’s what makes teams very successful is playing as one and not individually.”
The Bombers had victory in hand for virtually the whole game, taking possession of a 10 goal lead at half, which forced a running clock for the second. With the win, the Bombers secured a first round bye for the Liberty League Championships, and the importance of that bye is not lost on the team’s head coach.
“I think it’s so important going into the playoffs to have some rest,” Moore said. “You get to the end of the season, and that’s where you are reminded hard that you are a student athlete. You manage your schedule all year, and you get to the end where games are really really important, and you’re just exhausted and slammed with homework. That bye is really important in just making sure that we’re rested and that they can be students and get their things done.”
The Bombers still have two more regular season games to worry about before that bye, as they will take to the road next week to play Hamilton College and Rochester Institute of Technology. These final games might also be the last time that the team’s three seniors can make their mark. Despite that prospect, Sauer said she isn’t worried.
“I think we will definitely be fine,” she said. “With me, Molly and Kim leaving, we have a great goalie behind Kim — we have Reid [Simoncini] in there, Caroline Paquin. We will be fine. We will be just fine.”