Women’s lacrosse team starts strong

No better way to start a season.

Whenever people are exposed to something new, excitement and anxiety build up as to what the future may hold, good or bad. The anticipated debut of the women’s lacrosse team is here as they have new faces replacing the five seniors, new challengers on their non-conference schedule and a new face taking the reins to replace former head coach Sarah Lamphier.

What did not change for the Quakers was their rank in the preseason poll. Like in 2017, the team placed seventh in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference poll.

However, doubt surrounding this young team was silenced as the Quakers dominated in their first game of the year on Tuesday, Feb. 13, against Averett University. Lucky number seven Quakers scored in a 16-6 road victory.

This was their first game under interim head coach Charlotte Dixon. Dixon is no stranger to the Quakers, as she served as an assistant coach to the team last season.

Dixon also served as the head coach of crosstown rival Greensboro College from 2008 to 2011. Under her tenure, Greensboro players received 23 all-conference awards. Dixon currently holds the Pride’s best career winning percentage of .563.

Sophomore midfielder Madison Iandoli paced the Quakers with four goals and an assist. Iandoli led the team in 2017 scoring 18 goals in ODAC play, good for sixth in the league.

Senior midfielder Carter MacLeod and sophomore defender and midfielder Cat Thresher scored three goals a piece. First-year midfielder Nia Gill and attacker Grace Moore each scored twice, and senior Taylor Campellon and junior defender and midfielder Amber Dubois added in one a piece for the other five goals.

The Quakers stayed on the offensive, outshooting the Cougars 45 to 12. Guilford also put 36 shots on goal. Senior Sarah Sedaghat played in goal the whole game for the Quakers, racking up three saves to start the season undefeated. Sedaghat is also serving as a team captain for a consecutive season. Sedaghat replaces Sammi Milbourn ’17, the all-ODAC goalkeeper from last season. Milbourn was a four-year starter.

Junior attacker Holly Kozak had a solid debut, with three shots on goal, two ground balls and draw control. Kozak started as a midfielder in all 16 of the Quakers’ games in 2017. She totaled 20 points on 17 goals and three assists, and contributed eight draw controls, fifth on the team.

Kozak described the experience playing under Dixon as a head coach, highlighting the emphasis on discipline.

“It’s been very structured,” said Kozak. “There are definitely set rules that are required of the team to follow. There’s also been a lot of focus on fitness.”

She also stated that Dixon’s emphasis on team activity was beneficial to the team’s chemistry.

“I think, overall, the team chemistry is just better because everybody has compatible personalities and our (first-years) are super great,” said Kozak. “But (coach Dixon) has had us do some team activities together. I think when she made us do breakfast club in the fall we came closer together.”

Dubois also commented on Dixon’s drive on discipline.

“She has been really pushing us so far,” said Dubois. “Every practice we are expected to show up and work hard. She’s tough, but fair and it’s awesome to play under her. Practices have been fast-paced and really productive.”

Dubois has started in every career game as a Quaker. Last season, she ranked third on the team with 13 caused turnovers and fourth on the team with 28 ground balls. She also contributed five points with three goals and two assists.

The team did lose a lot of its firepower to graduation. Amanda Dionne ’17, Milbourn and Summer Fowler ’17 were Guilford’s representatives on the 2017 All-ODAC team. Fowler now serves as an assistant coach for the Quakers and Dionne was the team’s top scorer last season.

The Quakers’ home-opener is on Feb. 28 where they will host Ferrum College at 4 p.m.

“We lost a lot of talent last year, so this year we are building back up, and we’ve been looking pretty good so far,” said Dubois. “Still working out some kinks, but we’re excited to bring in this season.”