Daniel Miller (Staff Writer)
KSU’s women’s lacrosse team has dealt with a variety of challenges in its first two seasons, including injuries and lack of depth. Kristina Llanes’ team has started 1-15 as a program and 0-5 this season, but individual players are making progress. Freshman Olivia Hokanson and Taylor McGee each earned individual honors from the Atlantic Sun Conference for their play in a 15-14 defeat against Presbyterian College.
“They’re both playing exactly how we expected when we recruited them” head coach Kristina Llanes said. “Taylor is a very unselfish player, and Hoke is potent on the cage and that is what drew us to her.”
During the Owls’ last outing against the Blue Hose, Hokanson registered six goals on six shots, and for the season has a team leading eight goals on 13 shots.
“I felt really good about the game, we been working a lot at this semester coming together as a team, and building the program, and I feel that game really showed what we have to offer,” Hokanson said.
Hokanson has even surprised herself with her fast start.
“It’s not what I expected at all because I came from something totally different in high school.”
Both players stated that receiving these awards and being noticed by the conference are positives for the team.
“It can give us all a little confidence just because losing isn’t always the best, but getting these awards, the team is being recognized , and gives us confidence to keep pushing forward,” Honakson said.
McGee tallied nine draw controls, and four ground ball pickups in the game against Presbyterian, and for the season has eight ground ball pickups and 11 draw control wins. “I think I played well because I had the team behind my back the whole time” said McGee.
McGee’s contends her position requires a lot of unselfishness and perhaps a little more sacrifice than other positions.
“I think it definitely does; To be a midfielder you have to be all over the field, you have to be really game aware and to see where everyone is on the field,” McGee said. “One of the goals for the midfielders is to make sure that each midfielder gets three points or three shots, so you have to be unselfish and recognize who needs those points and that will just help our game be more successful”.
“With the injuries mounting and team still searching for its first win, each game is providing growing pains along with valuable lessons,” Honkanson said. “It’s been a little rocky, but I’ve gotten excited these past couple of games because we have shown so much improvement and especially with the injuries we’ve had I think it just shows that our team is strong.”
“I know this is just a snapshot of what they are going to do in their four years” Llanes said. The team’s next game is Wednesday, March 26, at Jacksonville.