Sports team highlight

Women’s lacrosse coach describes her team’s shortened season

Q&A with the MIT Women’s Lacrosse’s coach on the effect of COVID-19 on her team’s season

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The Women's Lacrosse Class of 2020 Rayna Higuchi and Leah Vogel, along with teammate Lucy Halperin G (left to right).

The MIT Women’s Lacrosse team played five matches before its season was suspended and students were asked to leave campus. The matches included 17-12 and 15-4 wins against Johnsons and Wales University and Western Connecticut State University, alongside 12-9 and 19-9 losses against Roger Williams University and Tufts University. The team’s final match was against Endicott College after the announcement of suspension of the season and hence was fraught with emotion. The match was well fought, but it eventually led to a 16-15 loss for the Engineers. The Tech asked Coach Anne Versprille to reflect upon the crisis and its effects on her team.

The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

The Tech: What are you most proud of about your team’s progress this year?

Anne Versprille: I was so impressed by how they improved as a team every single day. They pushed themselves as individuals every day, which always helped the team get better too. It was pretty remarkable to see how much they grew between our first and last game. 

TT: What makes the current team and the graduating class of seniors special?

Versprille: What may be more impressive than the progress they made as players is the amount they grew as teammates, leaders, and friends. The growth they made as people working towards a goal together is what made this team so special. While doing all that, they were also able to make every day fun. This came because of our senior leadership. Leah, Rayna, and Lucy all came to the lacrosse team from other teams at MIT and the instant they started in our program, they bought in and poured their hearts and passion into our program. This team defined the name of MIT Women's Lacrosse and set high standards and expectations for the future.

TT: Even though you didn’t get the chance to play a full season, is there a moment that sticks out to you this season? 

Versprille: I will never forget the last two days of our season. On the Wednesday that we found out about our season ending early, we played our final game. After an emotional day, the team played well, hard, and together. It was the best game we played during the short season. It was also special because so many people in the MIT community came out to cheer the team on! It really gave me a sense that we would get through this time together. The next day, we had our final practice. It was one of the hardest days I have had as a coach but also one of the most amazing. I watched teammates pick each other up when they were down and enjoy time together while playing hard one last time. 

TT: Are there any words of wisdom you have for your team or the MIT Community as a whole?

Versprille: We have team standards and have really focused on three of them during this time: practice gratitude, have a positive attitude, and be where your feet are. We will get through this together!

The Tech, alongside the rest of the MIT community, would have loved to see the women's lacrosse team settle a great season and strive to win the NEWMAC and looks forward to seeing them dominate in future seasons.