Shane shines between the pipes

Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 5:47pm

Forty-four players strong, the Michigan women’s lacrosse team took to Oosterbaan Field House on Sunday afternoon for its season opener against Central Michigan.

When the starting lineup was called, many veterans returned to the turf. A new name, though, rose to the forefront as well: freshman goalie Mira Shane.

“The adrenaline was just pumping as soon as I heard my name,” Shane said.

Though Shane is only a freshman, she didn’t show it. She projected confidently, calling out the ball location and instructing the defense on positioning as if she’d been on the team since the start.

“The upperclassmen have definitely pushed me to scream my lungs and heart out every game, which is why I’m a little raspy right now,” Shane joked.

Shane garnered her skills throughout her high school career, lending to an enormously high 696 career saves. She boasts a myriad of awards, as the 2015 Princeton Packett Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year and a member of the 2015 US Lacrosse All-America team.

Coming up with seven saves against Central Michigan, Shane made up for some early sloppy play for the Wolverines.

“We weren’t playing a very good defense, and we weren’t really executing on offense,” said Michigan coach Jennifer Ulehla. “(Shane) came up with great saves and helped to elevate our game.”

As seen from her shutout debut, Shane is more than comfortable in the net.

“I focus and then explode,” Shane said. “That’s the name of my game.”

And it was this game in combination with Shane’s energy that drew Ulehla’s attention throughout the recruiting process. Ulehla points to Shane’s competitive fire and ferocity as a key to her success between the pipes.

“Mira is a God-given leader,” Ulehla said. “She’s got a very good presence. People believe in her and they follow her. You need that in the cage.”

Shane isn’t the only freshman looking to make an immediate impact on the field. She is joined by 11 other newcomers, all ready to take advantage of any chance to show their skills.

“This team is amazing, and when there’s an opportunity to stand out on the field with those lovely ladies and get cheered on from the sidelines, it’s something that’s unbelievable and unforgettable,” Shane said.

With nearly four seasons ahead of them, Shane and her freshman counterparts are sure to add much needed depth and competition to the relatively new Michigan lacrosse program.

Shane has already begun.