The Keene State College women’s lacrosse team was forced to clear snow off the fields themselves in order to play their rescheduled game against Wheaton College on March 25.
Before the game, athletes, parents and students joined the women on the field to help them shovel the snow off before the game could start. A lack of communication was to blame for the athletes having to plow the fields before they could play.
Parents, staff and other student-athletes accompanied the Owls on the field to clear the snow off as quickly as possible, while Wheaton sat back and watched.
“No one is to blame,” Athletic Director Dr. Kristene Kelly said. “What happened was that particular game was a reschedule from a game that was scheduled before, and even though we make all of our changes on our website, there was a miscommunication between our ground folks not knowing there was a game because had they known, they would’ve been out there to do it.”
Junior midfielder Taylor Farland said it wasn’t the “ideal situation,” but they made the best of it. “It was very sticky snow so it just covered the field really fast and this was already a game that was rescheduled so we didn’t want to have to go back and schedule it again or cancel it,” Farland said.
She continued, “We all just started grabbing shovels and started to clear the fields and it was fun; it was fun for the time we did it, I just wish it wasn’t the day of a game. It was tiring because it was the entire field that we had to clear, but some parents came and helped, a few guys on the lacrosse team came, Kristine Kelly was actually there helping us shovel, our coaches were shoveling and it probably took us two hours to get the field pretty much cleared off.”
The Owls were determined to play the game against Wheaton College and did everything they could to keep the game on. “Our student-athletes took matters into their own hands and said, ‘We really want to play, we’re going to go out here and do this,’ and that’s basically what happened. I apologized to all of our student-athletes because I definitely did not want them out there doing that, especially given the fact that they’re getting ready to play. That is not their job to take care of the fields,” Kelly said.
The Owls grabbed anything in sight that they thought could help clear the field.
“We were going to just take whatever we could find; we had chairs, we had hurdles from underneath the bleachers, we had a table at one point [and] we were just doing whatever we could to clear the field,” Farland said.
Farland said she doesn’t think that this “miscommunication” will ever happen again. “Shoveling was definitely not something we planned on doing before a game and not something that will ever happen again because it’s never happened in the past,” Farland said.
Kelly confirmed that there would be a plan in place for the next time weather is an issue.
“I have already been in contact with our grounds crew, so we have a contingency plan in place. So every Monday from here on out we’re going to let them know all of our games for the week because of course with spring sports, there’s all kinds of inclement weather and all types of changes,” Kelly said.
After the fields were completely cleared off, the Owls were finally able to tip off against Wheaton College. The Owls took a loss they thought they wouldn’t.
“I think that we went in with the mindset of, ‘This game has to be ours. We just shoveled that field for a reason and we’re not going to come out with a loss,’ so in our minds, we had it and thought we were going to do well. We were winning at halftime, we were positive and staying up, but I don’t know if just being at halftime slowed us down a little or what it was,” Farland said.
She continued, “The other team played really well. They had things that we couldn’t capitalize on and their defense did a really good job at stopping our drives and feeds so it was tough, but I don’t know if it would change the outcome of the game. It would’ve been nicer if we weren’t all as drained after it. It would’ve been nice to have all that energy, but I don’t know if it would have changed the outcome.”
Shelby Iava can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org