By Ronald Hanaki
Last Friday, Xeni Barakos won her first game in her maiden voyage as head coach of ESU’s women’s lacrosse program with a 15-0 shutout of the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats at Whitenight Field.
This game was never in doubt for the Warriors. ESU led 9-0 in the first half.
Statistically, the Warriors dominated the game by outshooting the Bobcats 31-3.
Needless to say, Coach Barakos was pleased after the game: “It proves as a unit that our attacking end is a threat all over the field.”
Freshman attack Brooke Fritz scored the first goal of ESU’s new season. In total, Fritz tallied four goals and two assists to lead the Warriors.
Junior attack Lauren Green had three goals and three assists, and senior attack Lauren Nunes had three goals and two assists.
Senior attack Kaitlynn Wiltraut, last season’s top goal scorer, chipped in with two assists.
“All four attackers work really well together. The dynamic has changed from last season on our attacking end,” said Barakos.
“Wiltraut is my playmaker now. She can depend on others to score,” said Barakos.
It was also the first shutout for the lacrosse program since 1993. West Virginia Wesleyan only managed three shots and two shots on goal, and redshirt junior goalkeeper Jessica Maxwell made two saves to blank the Bobcats.
“Jess Maxwell is back [from injury last season], which is awesome. It’s great to have her back in net and get her feet wet,” said Barakos.
“Our defense was awesome,” added Barakos.
Overall, Barakos was clearly proud of her team.
“All twenty-four girls have bought into the system,” said Barakos.
Prior to becoming the head coach at ESU, Barakos spent the 2015 season as an assistant coach at Millersville. ESU will play Millersville on Saturday, Mar. 12.
“It’s going to be an emotional game. We know what they’re going to do, and they know what we’re going to do. So it’s going to come down to execution,” said Barakos.
Starting tomorrow, the Warriors will be on the road for the next four games.
Barakos was upbeat: “We’re ready to set the tone in the PSAC.”
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