The Brigham Young University women’s lacrosse team capped off an impressive season with a second-place finish at nationals held at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex near Austin, Texas.
BYU Women’s Lacrosse team goal was to place better than their 2017 finish as No. 5 in the country, and the team certainly did that in 2018. However, Dabrowski believes her team could have won it all.
“I’m very pleased with how we finished,” said Dabrowski. “It is funny, because at the beginning of the year right after Santa Barbara that it occurred to me that we might be able to do a little bit better. I told the girls my second goal was to win the whole thing.”
BYU had a tough road on the way to the championship game against the University of Michigan. After their opening-round game against Penn State, which they won 13-7, the Cougars other two games were decided by two goals and one goal to San Diego State and Virginia, respectively.
Said Dabrowski, “I’m very proud of how we finished better than last year, but our road to the championship game was not very easy. I think that they did more than they thought we were able to. The cherry on top would have been winning the whole thing.”
Dabrowski was incredibly impressive with how her players responded to the adversity they faced in their games during the national tournament.
“Every game we came out a little slow,” said Dabrowski. “The captains had the opportunity to motivate the players in ways that we as coaches couldn’t. I’ve seen my players step-up, but not in ways that mattered so much.”
Going into the championship game, Dabrowski said her team had a “nothing-to-lose” mentality and embraced the underdog role. While BYU had a hard-fought game against Michigan in the championship, but would fall 7-11 to the Wolverines, who finished the season undefeated at a perfect 19-0. BYU finished its season at an impressive 17-3.
Dabrowski was highly complimentary of the Wolverines.
“If we had to lose to someone that has a perfect record, that’s really impressive on their part,” said Dabrowski.
BYU graduates six seniors, three of which made up the BYU’s starting attack-line in addition to two captains. The Cougars will especially miss midfielder Briana Arnold, who led the team with 59 points during the season.
“Briana was of-course a heavy-hitter on the draw and in her ability to get the ball in the back of the net. She is the heart and soul of the team. That is something we are going to miss next year,” said Dabrowski.
Another senior captain, Summer Sutherland, was an integral part of the team as Sutherland, according to Dabrowski, had a unique ability to be able to communicate the needs of the team to the coaches and visa versa. Dabrowski said she placed a ton of trust in her senior attackman. Sutherland would finish the season with 30 points, totaling 27 goals and 3 assists for the year.
For Dabrowski, one of her favorite moments of the season was the Santa Barbara Shootout, where the Cougars went 4-0. What made it extra special, according to Dabrowski, was that they were able to play more of their players in the tournament than they ever had before.
BYU will look to reload for next year as midfielder Heather Haight returns. Haight scored 48 points during the season with 34 goals and 14 assists and was a large part of the Cougar attack. Dabrowski will be entering her fourth year with the team, as things will be looking promising for another Cougar run in the WCLA playoffs.