The 2017 women's lacrosse season kicked off on Thursday for the Pilots with a two-game day on the campus of Taylor University in Upland. The Pilots had an extremely promising start by winning both contests and opening their campaign with an unblemished 2-0 record. In game one, BC downed Ball State University 18-11 after which the Pilots defeated Taylor University 11-6.
Bethel started slow, falling behind by two goals in the first two minutes of the half. However, the Pilots were able to respond by taking a more aggressive defensive attitude from that point in the game. By halftime, Bethel had a commanding lead of 12-4. In the second half, the Pilots were able to play the majority of their roster and still maintain a dominant presence on the field. In the contest, Bethel was led offensively by Allison Coffeen and Kara Holmes, who both recorded five goals. Alongside Coffeen and Holmes, Alexis Maike and Kennedy Lower both contributed three goals while Grace McCarthy added two goals of her own. The defense was led by Morgan Lower with three forced turnovers and great leadership on the defensive side of the field.
In the nightcap, the Pilots faced a much improved squad from Taylor University, and the two teams found themselves in a tight contest. While Holmes had three quick goals in the first few minutes, the first half remained close although Bethel never lost its lead. At the half, Bethel clung to a 6-4 advantage. Out of the break, BC was able to aggressively respond and make some technical adjustments that allowed them to control the tempo. With eight minutes left in the game, the Pilots took control and worked their way to an 11-6 victory over the Trojans. Bethel was again led by Holmes who recorded five goals while also picking up three assists. McCarthy added three more goals after landing two in the opening game. An additional highlight in the TU win was Emily Dobson scoring the first goal of her career. On the defensive side of the ball, BC was led by Alexie Maxwell and Janelle Miller who both had two forced turnovers and three ground ball pickups.
The 2017 campaign will continue this weekend when the Pilots will face the University of Toledo and Saginaw Valley in a multi-team event hosted by Eastern Michigan University.
The Bethel College Pilots compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. While accumulating 3 NAIA National Championships and 32 NCCAA National Championships by 10 different athletic teams, Bethel has also produced 143 NAIA All-American honors and 309 NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors over the past decade. Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in more than 70 areas of study. Connect with Bethel Athletics online at BethelCollegePilots.com or via Facebook (Facebook.com/BethelPilots), Twitter (Twitter.com/Bethel_Sports & @Bethel_Sports) and Instagram (@BethelPilots).