By Madeline Sattler, News Staff
Although they may not receive the same attention as varsity-level sports, club teams sometimes compete on a national scale. A recent example of this is the Northeastern women’s club lacrosse team, which headed to nationals in Colorado to compete on the big stage.
Although they went 1-3 in the tournament, the Huskies had a strong showing overall, finishing the season as the No. 15 ranked team in the nation.
“[Making nationals] was a reflection of how hard we’ve worked this season,” senior defender Megan Lieberman said. “Our team really clicked this year and we were definitely the best team in our division.”
The Huskies compete in the Northeast Women’s Lacrosse League (NEWLL) in the East One division against teams like Boston College, University of Rhode Island and Tufts University, among others.
They moved into Division I three seasons ago, and this year was their first time going to nationals as a Division I team. The Huskies defeated defending champion Boston College 8-3 for the conference championship, punching their ticket to nationals.
The victory over Boston College was the first time any of the players experienced a victory over their crosstown rivals. Sophomore goaltender Deme Venancio had a huge role in the win with a record 22 saves.
“The graduating senior class had never beaten BC in their four years at Northeastern, so this was definitely a season highlight,” senior attacker Alyssa Drury said.
The trip to nationals was another first and an exciting accomplishment for the entire team.
“The top 16 teams in the country go [to nationals],” Lieberman said. “That was a big accomplishment; that was definitely our highlight.”
The Huskies headed to Colorado May 7 and began a four-day, four-game stretch on the eighth.
They lost to Colorado State University, the number one club team in the country, University of Michigan and the University of California. Northeastern did beat University of Oregon 14-13 in the final day of the tournament to finish the season at No. 15.
“Our playoff run was a wholehearted team effort, and we saw moments of greatness from each player throughout the season,” Drury said.
Drury was one of three captains for the Huskies, and along with senior midfielder Brittany O’Rourke and junior attacker Chelsea Andre, played a crucial role on the team. The three of them not only lead on the field, but off the field they were also very involved in fundraising and team bonding.
Following the national tournament, O’Rourke was recognized as an all-tournament player.
“[O’Rourke] stood out among all teams and players there,” Drury said.
Northeastern opened up the season with a tournament in Santa Barbara, Calif. where they went 1-3. Despite the losing record, there was a lot to learn from the games and each contest was a close one. The team built on that and turned the season around with a winning record.
The Huskies finished the season with an 11-7 record. Although, six of those losses came in tournament play. The 11 victories were their most since 2007 and the team seems poised to continue its successes.
“We’ve proven to ourselves and everyone that we did it once and we can definitely do it again.” Lieberman said. “I think they’ll be ready to go.”