By Xander Swain
With a historic close, the Montevallo women’s lacrosse team’s season ends with their highest win percentage in program history. The women’s lacrosse team lost to the University of Alabama in Huntsville on April 21, but not without putting up a fight. They went into the second half of the game only trailing by two goals but were unable to catch up to UAH.
UAH went on to win the Gulf South Conference championship against Young Harris College.
In only her second year as head coach for the program, Adrianna Piontek entered her first full season, and first Gulf South Conference post-season with the Montevallo Falcons. She said, “It’s been such a great experience coaching this team…They make it fun for us to go to work every day.”
Despite losing in the semi-finals, Piontek said, “The biggest thing we can take from this season is believing in ourselves. There will always be good things and areas to improve on, but after the year we had I think they finally know they can be successful in this conference.”
After last year’s abrupt end, the women’s lacrosse team found a lot of their motivation from their “unfinished business.” Piontek said, “We were already making huge improvements in our play prior to the shut down and the girls could measure it with our statistics compared to previous years.”
This season, the team came out “hungry” and to prove that “last year’s first winning season wasn’t just a fluke,” according to Piontek. And that’s exactly what the team did. The first game of the season was a huge win against Mars Hill University, 14-3, followed by a tough close loss to Lenoir-Rhyne University, one of the top teams in the country.
Despite their loss, the Falcons came back for a four-game win streak that was ended by Lee University. After the last four games of the season, the women’s lacrosse team ended with their highest win percentage ever at .667.
At the end of the post-season, two Montevallo players, Anja Kuys and Brianna Shepler, made the GSC All-Tournament team. The two players proved to be vital in the Falcons’ success on the field with Kuys having five ground balls and five draw controls in their match against UAH.
When asked about the semifinal, Kuys said, “It was super exciting and I loved playing very minute. We played our rivals, [UAH] and although we didn’t win, we held them to the closest margin of goals in program history – another milestone for the program.”
Looking to the future of the program, Piontek said, “I think we will continue to grow each season. We have a solid foundation of expectations and culture now with our returning players and many talented newcomers…We are just getting started!”
Kuys added, “We are continuously growing each year and passing down information and skill from the graduating classes. I am extremely excited for next year and seeing where this program will go from there on.”