Barons lacrosse drops opener

STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan University of Steubenville women’s lacrosse team lost the first game in program history, 23-4, Tuesday to Alma College on the FUS campus.

Barons head coach Maura Conant said she is trying to set small, realistic goals for her young team to help them improve and gain experience without feeling overwhelmed.

“The more we have possession of the ball, the more we are going to score,” she said. “We tripled our amount of possession (from the scrimmages) and we went from not scoring a goal to scoring four.”

In their inaugural year, the Lady Barons have organized a roster filled with players whose experience and skill-sets range from standout high school lacrosse players to athletes new to the lacrosse fundamentals.

“We have such a huge spectrum of talent,” Conant said. “Our girls need to be patient with the process. We want to build a team unit with chemistry combined with stick skills. Everybody needs to contribute and be a part of the team.”

A major contributor for the Lady Barons was freshman Lauren Noce who scored three goals, two of which were unassisted. Noce, a three-sport athlete at FUS, brought much needed varsity experience to the Lady Barons.

“She is a great contribution to the team,” Conant said. “She challenged defenders and had a fearlessness which led to her scores.”

Noce had only been with the team for a week before their game against Alma because of her commitment to the Lady Barons basketball team. Despite her absence, she was able to score the first goal in Lady Baron lacrosse history.

A ball that Conant said she kept, and will give to FUS Athletic Director Chris Ledyard.

While the milestone of the sport’s first game on campus was a great moment, Conant said her team must maintain focus, and work toward a winning season. She added that the first step will be making the fundamentals second nature.

“A lot of our girls are thinking about the skill too much in the game,” Conant said. “I want everyone to be comfortable with their stick so they can move the ball ahead comfortably.”

The Lady Barons visit Allegheny College at 6 p.m. Wednesday.