On Wednesday Mar. 24, Furman Women’s Lacrosse put on an impressive performance, taking down Winthrop 19-5. The Paladins raced to a quick 4-0 lead against the Eagles and, when the buzzer sounded, Furman led Winthrop 11-3. The Paladins continued to push ahead, taking a 13-3 lead less than three minutes into the second half. One more goal from Winthrop did not change the Paladins' momentum, as they responded with six goals in a row. With just over a minute remaining, the Eagles secured a late free position goal, putting the final score at 19-5.

Senior Rachel Sindler shared her thoughts on the game and the season so far. After their 2020 season was cancelled midway through, the first game of this season marked approximately 11 months since the team had last competed on the field together. However, this break in competition has not stopped the Paladins who have “worked diligently all Fall and preseason to improve and reach higher heights as a team.” They are now “really enjoying having the opportunity to showcase all the hard work that [they] have been putting in,” something that is evident in their strong performance and convincing win against Winthrop's competitive team.

Speaking about this week’s game, Sindler highlighted the noteworthy achievements of several of her teammates. Freshman midfielder Avery McIlwaine broke the single game record for draw control wins, winning 12 draw controls, and [year?] Sydney Catts reached her 100th draw control win, an impressive milestone in her Furman Lacrosse career. Even with these impressive personal accomplishments, the victory was still a team effort, exemplified by the fact that the team had eight different girls score on offense. “We love to see so many different players contribute to our win”, stated Rachel, also making sure not to forget the strong defensive effort put in by the Paladins; the Furman defense held the Eagles to “the lowest number of goals in a game that they have had all season.”

This performance comes as a result of not only the work the team are putting in on the field, but also their investment in building a strong team culture. This year, Furman Lacrosse established the “Purple Principles,” values that drive the program. By being on the team, “each girl commits to carrying out the six guiding values every single day,” Sindler stated. These values are: Trust, Discipline, Grit, Commitment, Family, Contagious. At the start of the year, they also set their season motto: “We Go Through.”  For Sindler, the team motto “encapsulates the resilience [the team] has shown since the shutdown of the 2020 season and means that no matter the struggles [they] have faced or the challenges that lie ahead, together [they] will persevere and end on a stronger note.”

Clearly the Paladins have put into practice the message of their motto. They started the season with some tough losses in the opening weekend of their season against East Carolina and Davidson, two games Sindler described as “winnable.” However, the initial losses allowed the team to home in on their shortcomings and make changes before the bulk of their season started, returning to practice “with more determination and desire to improve”. Beating Liberty, a team that they had not beaten during their last two seasons, and now coming off a convincing win against Winthrop, the team looks in good shape for conference. The girls have set goals including getting a ranked win against Jacksonville in non-conference play and winning the SoCon regular season title and tournament to advance to the NCAA tournament.