Staff Writer: Bella Pellet
It has been a whirlwind of a season so far for the Wingate Women’s Lacrosse team. Since the Dogs’ first game, they have made history in these past 10 weeks. Back on March 5th, the Dogs beat Limestone for the first time since the Saints have moved into the Southern Atlantic Conference.
A few weeks later, on March 21st, the Bulldogs were ranked 25th in all of Division 2 women’s lacrosse. This was the first time in program history the women’s lacrosse team from Wingate has ever been ranked. The accomplishments of the women’s team just continue to grow.
Since that first ranking on March 21st, the Dogs have been able to move up to #21 in the nation. They have won their last 7 consecutive games against rivals. On that road to #21, there have been some memorable moments.
In the game on March 25th against UVA Wise the Dogs took home the win 20-11. Senior Paige Kamar scored a career-high of six goals, adding three assists, four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
The team beat the Mars Hill Lions on the road 21-2. Junior captain Leah Knowles led the way with four goals and added four draw controls, two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Junior captain Megan Biase also came up huge for the Bulldogs as she did not allow a single goal in the first half of the game.
In the next game, the Bulldogs held Catawba to 5 goals in their 16-5 win. Senior captain Becca Ruiz contributed three goals while junior defender Emily Phipps added a team high of six ground balls, three caused turnovers and two draw controls.
The Bulldogs took down the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters on April 2nd with a score of 19 – 3 win. Freshman Danielle Scarfogliero had a team high five points with two goals and three assists, either scoring or assisting on each of Wingate’s first five goals.
On April 9th, the Wingate Women’s lacrosse team beat the Newberry Wolves 15-13. This game was a battle for the dogs as it was more physical than normal. Although the conditions were rough, Head Coach Abby Wiley had taught her team to be composed and never stoop to the Wolves attitude levels. Due to this, Dogs came out on top. Not to mention it was Head Coach Abby Wiley’s 100th career win! Coach Wiley has been at Wingate for four years and ever since her arrival she has been building the program from the ground up. It was also during this game that goalie captain Megan Biase piled up her 250 career saves!
On April 13th, the Wingate Women’s lacrosse faced off against their historic rivals the Lenoir Rhyne Bears. The Bulldogs once again held off the Bears 22-9. Freshman attacker Nelida Watson added a goal and two assists to assist with the win. Junior attacker Kayleigh Hiles and freshman midfielder Claire Fuchs contributed to the win by each scoring twice.
Just two days after the Lenoir Rhyne Game, the Bulldogs faced off against Mount Olive, an out of conference rival for them. This game was the senior game for the five seniors of the program, Becca Ruiz, Bella Pellet, Caroline Heffner, Camyrn Gallagher and Paige Kamer. The Bulldog defense came up huge in this game holding Mount Olive to only 3 goals. This effort was led by junior captain Megan Biase in goal. She tallied up 11 saves throughout the game.
As the team approaches the last regular season game this Saturday, April 23rd against the Tusculum Pioneers. Following the next week, they have the Southern Atlantic Conference Championship weekend to look forward to. With all the hard work the Dogs have put in, they have been able to secure a spot in the semi-finals, bypassing the quarterfinals. The championship weekend is held at Lenoir Rhyne University. The semi-finals will take place on Friday and if the Dogs progress, they will be in the championship game on Sunday.
This season for the Wingate Women’s Lacrosse team has been a record breaking one and they do not intend to stop making history until they bring home a Southern Atlantic Conference championship for the first time.