Senior attacker Chelsea Farrell's big game against the University of Colorado did more than earn Westminster College a victory.
Farrell's six goals and three assists helped the Griffins hold off last year's national champions 14-12, helping establish a high-water mark for the program.
"We've come a long way in four years, and beating CU was huge," Farrell said. "It shows that we have the team that can play and compete with any team in the league."
Since joining Division I in the Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates last year, Westminster has started the season 5-2, with big wins over UC San Diego and Washington.
"The growth has been big at Westminster," Farrell said. "At first, we were scrounging for players, but that work has paid off. We have a really talented group."
The Griffins practice five days a week at Dumke Field to run lung-busting drills. They are pushed to the limits by coach Niki Harding through a series of sprints and ball-handling drills.
"Because out roster isn't very deep, we have to be out there running a lot more," Harding said. "Lacrosse's speed favors the better-paced team, and we work hard to be completely prepared."
Harding has relied on Farrell throughout the season to set the tone on and off the field.
"Chelsea is the kind of player that gives 120 percent," Harding said. "She inspires her teammates with her play, attitude and energy. She's really a great leader."
Chelsea Farrell file
She is graduating with a psychology degree this spring.
She was born in New Jersey but graduated from Judge Memorial.