Oct 22, 2020 | SPORTS | By Zeke Lloyd | Photo courtesy of The Catalyst Archives
In 2019, prospective women’s lacrosse recruit Grace Schmude ’24 watched the Regional Semifinal game against Salisbury. The team lost 18-8, but the game was nonetheless significant for two reasons. It marked the end of a successful season, and it motivated Schmude to attend Colorado College.
“I thought: this could be my team in two years,” said Schmude. That was just something she couldn’t turn away from. She is now a first-year defender on the team. Poised for success as the team now is, though, the ambient virus cannot be defeated on the field. It is now threatening the team’s entire season.
“As of right now, we don’t know anything about the season. It’s up in the air,” said Bella Beatie ’22, a veteran midfielder and attacker. The administration is taking precautions with the hopes that a season might be possible. “Every day before practice you have to get your temperature taken and fill out on the app if you’re experiencing symptoms,” said Beatie.
The practice itself is also very different from usual, with drills oriented towards less contact-based skills. “In practice specifically we have been doing no contact and wearing masks all the time, even though we’re running and stuff,” Beatie said. “[We’re] working on stick skills and running; not much contact is happening right now.”
Neither Schmude nor Beatie believe that the uncertainty around the season might cause problems for the team. “I think that everybody on the team plays 110% no matter what,” Schmude said. “It’s how a lot of us were taught to play, and that’s the culture of our team.”
Schmude also pointed out that she and her teammates feel grateful for the opportunity to play at all, and it is not an opportunity they want to waste. After several highly successful seasons, they are hopeful they can pick up where they left off.
The team has a combined record of 62-15 over the last four seasons, winning no less than 75% of its games any given year. Even though the team lost a fair amount of seniors, Schmude is optimistic about the team’s ability to continue its winning trend. “I think our team is looking very strong this year. We have a lot of good freshmen,” said Schmude. Only a few months into her time at CC, and only a few weeks into practices, Schmude also considers her teammates a “really talented group.”
It is more than just a good record that keeps them together, though. “I think the team has been really nice, that’s one of the reasons I chose to play at CC,” Schmude said. “Coming here during my prospect days, both times I had a really great experience.”
On and off the field, upperclassmen work hard to bond with younger players. While the pandemic makes that difficult, the team finds ways to get to know each other in safe, socially distant ways. Even after her limited time here, Schmude considers herself a real part of the team: “I definitely feel like if I needed someone to talk to, I could talk to anyone on the team.”
The emotional bond and athletic intensity are a recipe for a record-breaking season that only a pandemic could impede. Even so, the team does what they can to maintain the social atmosphere and athletic culture they have cultivated over the years. If spring seasons do happen, the Colorado College Women’s Lacrosse team is one to look out for.