Lane and Gabriel deliver draw controls for women’s lacrosse


Photo by Isaiah Gencuski

Grace Gabriel scored two goals and added an assist in Marquette’s 13-11 win over Vanderbilt.

Senior midfielder Allison Lane and junior midfielder Grace Gabriel have found the recipe for success in the draw control circle.

The chemistry between the duo this season and their teammates has led to Marquette ranking eighth in the nation in draw controls per game. In 2015, the last season where Lane and Gabriel were not in the draw circle together, the Golden Eagles averaged eight draw controls per game. This year, they’re averaging 14 and have won more total draws (151) through nine games than the entire 2015 season.

Those numbers all point to one undeniable fact: The chemistry between Lane and Gabriel is helping Marquette win extra possessions.

“It has gotten to the point now where we don’t necessarily have to say words to each other, we just know each other’s tendencies and where we’re going to be,” Gabriel said.

The chemistry between the two has resulted in developing a sixth sense about how they play off the draw.

“It’s verbal communication, where if I’m taking the draw, I’ll tell Grace where to be, but sometimes it’s not,” Lane said. “Sometimes, it’s nonverbal communication. We kind of just mesh well together.”

The duo’s success isn’t solely about communication. It’s also about trusting the other member of the partnership are instincts.

“If I don’t have it right to myself, I know that (Gabriel) is going to get that for me and vice versa,” Lane said.

The revamped NCAA draw control rules have only bolstered the advantage. Instead of  everyone being allowed to rush the circle after the draw, only three players are allowed in the circle. That lessens the chance of Lane or Gabriel getting hit with another player’s stick and gives them more room to operate.

A less cluttered draw circle also means more draw controls inevitably go to the dynamic duo. Both players average over five draw controls per contest.

It’s easier when Lane is six feet tall. Although her height is a boon to the team, Lane’s endurance is far more important, especially when the other team employs a draw specialist, a player that stays fresh by switching out after each draw.

“We’re going to work a little bit harder, a little differently to kind of combat that or work against it in some way,” Lane said.

Lane and Gabriel try to keep their off-the-field relationship as strong as their on-field chemistry.

“Me and Allison are very different people, but I think that works for us,” Gabriel said. “We always talk to each other about lacrosse, about each other’s lives and I think that correlates to on the field.”

There’s only a half-season left until the ingredients to Marquette’s recipe for success changes. Lane graduates at the end of this year, and there’s still some unfinished business to attend to before that happens. The Golden Eagles (5-4, 1-0 in BIG EAST) have never made the BIG EAST Tournament in program history. Only the top four teams out of 10 make the tournament.

Marquette took a first step toward that goal Saturday, beating Cincinnati in the conference opener and controlling 58.3 percent draw controls along the way.

Numbers aside, Lane hopes to be remembered for her hard work and contributions to the team over four years, including all those draw controls.

“They see how hard I worked or hopefully how much I have done for this team and they can kind of take that with them over their years,” Lane said.