Story by Hayden Modaff, Saint Reporter
Photo courtesy of aqsaints.com
All things are pointing up for the Aquinas College Women’s Lacrosse program, which is off to a 4-7 start this season. The improvements they’ve made as a program are nothing but exciting for us Saint fans.
After a winless season last year, the Saints came back hungry to prove that they are much better than that. When asked what their turning point as a team was, sophomore goalkeeper McKenna Maltby said, “I think many of my teammates could agree the biggest momentum booster has been our win against Northern Michigan University (20-12). We hustled hard and came out strong right away.”
After that big win they picked up their first conference win over Lourdes University, who had been receiving Top 25 votes, 14-6. In the victory over Lourdes, freshman Anna Curcuru exploded for six goals and two assists, sophomore Cara Burns also added three goals and three assists herself, with Maltby backstopping the Saints to a conference win.
Since then they’ve also scored two more conference wins on the season. The first was over Madonna University by a score of 17-2. The Saints were led again offensively by Curcuru and Burns both having four goals apiece. They followed this with a 23-6 victory over Concordia, as junior Theresa Micallef scored five goals and dished out two assists and Burns scored seven of her own for the Saints.
The team currently sits at 3-6 overall in conference play with a conference match at home coming up against Davenport on April 14. Their Senior Day will be held against Marian University on April 15 at home.
Maltby believes the program’s turnaround this season can be attributed to the leadership coming from the top down: “I think that the leadership on the team is unique. With the coaches, we have Owen Blank (Head coach) who is hard on us, in a good way, and Joe Curcuru (Assistant Coach) who is a giant teddy bear. Their personalities mesh well together.”
On top of this cohesive leadership, Maltby says that the team lives by the motto of “We are #21Strong,” a motto meant to inspire a sense of family amongst the team. The team has also made huge steps in lacrosse IQ according to Maltby, who said “We have our three captains, two seniors and a junior and they all come from different lacrosse backgrounds and offer a lot of insight to each of their positions. Their high ‘lacrosse IQ’s’ make our team a lot stronger.”
Maltby also said that a huge part of the team’s success is the fact that their leadership goes way beyond just the captains on the team, saying “Every player steps up and makes those around them strong.”
From the interview with McKenna and the effort being put forth on the field, Aquinas College Women’s Lacrosse appears to be a team that is poised to be that gives their opponents quite a run for their money whenever they take the field.