By Colin Froment and Aimee Forman – 1851 Staff
Junior Taylor Yandow and sophomore Vanessa Pino earned the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Week this past month for their outstanding athletic performances. Both players have won the award twice this season — Yandow was named GNAC Player of the Week two weeks in a row.
Both women were proud to win the awards this season. This award was one of Pino’s ambitions for the season. “I felt extremely proud of myself when I won GNAC Player of the Week the first week it was really exciting to be recognized for all my hard work,” said Pino, “And then when I was named Player of the Week for the second week I felt even more proud of myself for setting my goals for myself high this season, and accomplishing one of them.”
“I was certainly surprised because they were the first two I had ever gotten, but it made me feel like my hard work was paying off and it gave me motivation to work even harder,” said Yandow. In addition to this accomplishment, Yandow leads in draw controls with a total of 69 (at time of publication), and scored her 100th goal as a Laser during the team’s wgame against Emerson.
The two athletes have their own reasons for playing lacrosse in college. Pino first picked up lacrosse in the fourth grade after watching her older brother play, while Yandow began playing in seventh grade.
“I have made so many friends from playing lacrosse here, I have become friends with my teammates and other athletes on campus,” said Pino, “It has helped me become more social and outgoing.” Pino has also said that lacrosse has helped her keep track of her schoolwork and make sure it is all complete before games and practices. Yandow joined the lacrosse team because she noticed “an opportunity to develop skills and learn from a new coach and program.”
Yandow put in plenty of hard work and dedication to the sport to be recognized this season.
“I take every opportunity I get to learn from my coaches and teammates and to practice my skills nonstop,” she said.
While Yandow leads the Lasers’ offense, she is also a strong influence on her teammates. “Yandow is a player I look up to on the field, she is a great all-around player,” said Pino, “She motivates me to be better and be confident in myself. She leads by example and I look up to her a lot.”
The teammates have a strong bond for each other and are primarily focused on working as a whole team to win accomplishments. “I know [the team] is really happy for Pino and me for receiving the awards,” said Yandow. “I hope it motivates them to want to get their own, and reach the same accomplishments.”