By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor
The Oklahoma Baptist women’s lacrosse team kicked off a six-game home stand with a 19-6 victory over RMAC foes Adams State University Saturday, March 23.
The Lady Bison entered the matchup on a five-game losing streak, all of which were on the road.
However, OBU showed up ready to defend Bison Hill.
“We knew we had to show up and work for every ground ball, every pass, and every goal,” sophomore Taylor Skomp said. “We are confident every time we walk on the field, but we knew everyone would have to show up ready to perform.”
The Lady Bison came storming out of the gates.
Junior Brooke Harden opened the scoring for OBU at the 27:41 mark in the first half, which sparked four more goals for the Lady Bison.
Skomp, freshman Shay Morgan, and junior Lauren McCormack all found the back of the net before Adams State.
Once ASU finally found a goal, OBU freshman Devin Miller followed up with a goal of her own, while Skomp completed a hat trick before 10 minutes were gone in the game.
ASU scored again to make it 7-1 but the Lady responded right back with a pair of goals from Morgan and freshman Emery Kennedy.
OBU would give up one more goal before halftime, but would respond again with scores from Miller, freshman Nina Handley and Kennedy.
Handley’s goal was her first career goal for OBU.
“Offense set the tone this game and it showed,” junior Brooke Harden said. “We really have started collaborating as a team.”
Every time ASU found a goal, OBU would come back with more of their own. This helped the maintain a lead into halftime.
The Lady Bison would keep the same intensity in the second half; Miller would add another goal within the first 50 seconds of the second half.
The Lady Bison scored four more goals after Miller’s opening goal to push the lead to 17-3.
McCormack and freshman Madison Gordon each scored one more time to put the finishing touches on the emphatic win.
“I’m really proud of the way our team came out and competed,” Harden said. “We are a newer team, so we have a learning curve, but as the season has gone on, we have really developed and gotten better with each game.”
The Lady Bison had eight different players find the back of the net as the offense continued to find its rhythm from earlier in the week.
This was OBU’s first conference win since April 1, 2017.
McCormack finished with a game-high five points on three goals and two assists, while Gordon, Harden, and Skomp each had four points apiece.
Also, Miller finished with a hat trick. Defensively, junior Courtney Barnickle picked up her third win of the season in goal, collecting 11 saves against just six goals allowed.
Though the team has a difficult start to the season, the OBU lacrosse team has been able to grow and get closer as a group because of it.
“Our biggest strength is we all love each other, and we walk on the field ready to play,” Skomp said. “We spend a lot of time together outside of lacrosse growing as friends and growing in our faith.”
The team leads the NCAA in draw controls and ground balls.
“We all view lacrosse as a job,” Skomp said. “We are there to work hard, give it everything we have and walk off the field knowing we played to the best of our abilities.”
The Lady Bison now sit at 3-5 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
Next up, the team takes on Midland in a nonconference match-up, Saturday, Apr 6.
“We have been putting a lot of work in on and off the field,” Harden said. “I think it’s going to show in our upcoming games.”
So far this season, the Lady Bison have traveled to Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah. They will head out-of-state for their April 27 meet in St. Charles, MO against Lindenwood University.