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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

“Our Best 60 Minutes”: How Loyola Women’s Lacrosse Just Keeps Winning

Larry French

Loyola Women’s Lacrosse has had a lot of success in their season so far with many recent wins, including their victory over Hopkins in the Battle of Charles Street and a win against Florida for their home opener. One reason for these accomplishments? Captain Sydni Black ‘24 and midfielder Avery Ruhnke ‘27 credit their team spirit as the force that keeps them going. They also place a big emphasis on their mindset when entering games no matter who their opponent is.

Heading into their game against Hopkins, for example, the players were able to acknowledge the rivalry between the two schools while still seeing it as just another game. Black made sure to remind the team of this before the match in her pre-game pep talk. 

She said, “There is one more game and it’s our game.”

She encouraged her team to be confident in themselves. Head Coach Jen Adams emphasized this idea as well. She says that she tells the team to treat every game the same, and to always play their best. 

She said, “We go into every game wanting to put our best 60 minutes of lacrosse out on the field. Whether that’s a Hopkins game or at American or playing Florida for our home opener, one of our keys is we don’t get over-emotional in any direction.” 

More important than the Hopkins-Loyola rivalry is the spirit the Women’s Lacrosse team brings to the field and to the bench. Ruhnke called out the enthusiasm the bench adds to their games as a source of their on-field success. 

She said, “The energy we have on the sideline of this team is unlike any other team. Every game you look over at the sideline and our team is just up and down, cheering as loud as they can. That energy is really what fuels the people on the field.”

This team never underestimates the power of an energetic and engaged bench. To them, everyone on the team has an important role of support. Every win includes not just the players on the field, but the athletes on the bench as well. This is the mentality that Coach Adams works to instill in her players.

She said, “The level of enthusiasm and energy and spirit from the sideline is absolutely instrumental to the way in which we play the game. There’s people whose role is gonna be to put a ball in the back of the net, there’s people whose role is going to be to stop a goal, but there’s a whole other section to it.” 

Adams said, “Whether it’s being a scout player in the lead up to practices or whether you’re bringing energy or words of encouragement from the sideline in a game, we never underestimate that on this team.” 

Another important role of any team is their team captain. For the Hounds, one such leader is Black. She brings a supportive and selfless mindset to her role as captain, and tries to look out for her teammates during games. 

She said, “I just focus on making sure everyone feels good about the game plan and everyone knows what we’re supposed to be doing.”

Her status as a senior on the team also influences how she approaches games. 

She said, “Especially as a senior, you know any game could be your last and so going out there with that championship mentality is really key.”

Coach Adams hopes that more and more Loyola fans will be able to witness Women’s Lacrosse in action as the season progresses. She calls on the Loyola community to come out to games and support the girls.

She said, “We’d always love to get more fans out to our games, that’ll always be our continual push. The more eyeballs we can see on our incredible players and have the opportunity to get more people the chance to witness Loyola Women’s Lacrosse in action, as a coach is always something I’m going to advocate for.”

Ruhnke and Black foresee a stronger team at each and every match, and express excitement for the rest of the season. 

“It’s gonna be an exciting year. Jump on the wagon while you still can, because we’re gonna put on a great show,” Black said. 

With a couple of games throughout Spring Break and one at West Point after we return, the Hounds’ next home game after the break will be against Navy for Eras Tour night on March 20. It is the team’s continual wish to have Loyola’s community come out to more games to witness them in action.

In the words of Ruhnke, “No one knows what Loyola Lacrosse is made of this year.”

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