Before Sunday’s tough one-goal loss to Gannon University, the Shippensburg University lacrosse team was ranked at No. 5 out of 13 teams in the PSAC. After falling to GU the Raiders are now seeded No.7. Before this season started, the Raiders were picked to finish 10th in the PSAC preseason coaches’ poll.
The Raiders have surprised a lot of teams with the amount of talent they have in such a diverse squad. The Raiders are composed of mainly freshman and seniors, having just six sophomores and juniors combined. All of SU’s players have done their job so far this year.
On Wednesday afternoon the Raiders will take on East Stroudsburg University from Robb Sports Complex for their second-to-last home game of the season. SU’s final home game is against Mercyhurst University on April 26.
ESU has struggled with PSAC play so far this season, posting just a 1–4 record in PSAC play compared to the Raiders’ 3–2 record. Despite ESU’s struggles, it started the season off with six-straight wins but has since dropped four-straight games.
The Raiders need to pick up the game against a lower caliber team like the Warriors if they want to stay in the Top 5 of the conference.
The Raider defense will have to shut down ESU’s Kaitlynn Wiltraut if they want to walk away with a win. Wiltraut leads the Warriors and is seventh in the PSAC and averages 3.40 goals per game.
SU will need to communicate and execute with precision to take down the Warriors. Sheila Johnson and Bennett Widlake will need to continue to score for the Raiders come Wednesday afternoon.
Johnson leads SU with 28 goals while Widlake has registered 26 goals.
Raider Courtney Kennedy has taken on a different role this year compared to last year. The junior midfielder leads the Raiders with 19 assists, notching her at No. 10 in the PSAC.
SU has received contributions from a variety of players so far this season. Freshmen have stepped into starting roles and have performed above expectations.
The team set a goal in the beginning of the season to make it to the PSAC playoffs, a feat that this year’s senior class has never reached.
If SU wants to achieve that goal, it needs to pick up wins against lower caliber teams and that starts with ESU on Wednesday. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Shippensburg.