Women’s Lacrosse Season Preview
March 10, 2017
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In case you didn’t know, there is a team on campus that is ranked third in the NE-10 Conference and 11th in all of Division II – that team is the Women’s Lacrosse team. These are high ranks to live up to, but the Chargers look to prove that they belong and that you should believe the hype. There are a lot of expectations for the 2017 season after going 10-3 in the grueling NE-10 conference and 13-7 overall last season. The Chargers had early exits in both the conference championship and the NCAA tournament, losing to Adelphi and LIU Post respectively. In 2017, the Chargers look to avenge those losses and ultimately get back into both tournaments and finish what they started.
When a team is ranked this high, there seems to be a lot of pressure to succeed. One way the Chargers look to relinquish this pressure is by working hard and sticking together on and off the field. According to Sophomore Attack Samantha Galler, “the team uses every practice and every game as a stepping stone to get better, we never settle and are always looking to improve because we know our conference is so tough.”
Another way they look to take the pressure off is by continually working on improving both sides of the ball. When both your offense and defense is clicking on all cylinders, it becomes very easy to win. With teams like national powerhouse Adelphi and LeMoyne in the conference, the Chargers always have to be on their toes because they know that the road to the championship goes through both of those schools. If they are able to stick with their goals and stay consistent the stench of pressure shouldn’t even blow in the wind on Kayo field. The Chargers are hungry and I wouldn’t get in their way.
Some key players to watch on the attack this season are senior Caitlin O’Brien, junior Jessica Mazliah, and sophomores Mackenzie Reh and Samantha Galler. These four players look to lead the Chargers high powered offense. O’Brien is coming off a team leading season with 38 goals and 25 assists. Mazliah is coming off a season with 26 goals and 30 assist. Galler and Reh are coming off stellar freshman seasons and look capitalize on their scoring abilities. The midfield consists of senior Nicole Belanger, and Graduate Kendall Cietek. Belanger looks to use her playmaking abilities to provide a boost in the transition game. Cietek comes to New Haven from Division I program Villanova. She is sure to provide a lot of scoring, and a lot of experience to this young Chargers team.
On defense, seniors Hannah Johnson, Meredith Michel, and Alicia Mortali, junior Courtney Duffy, sophomores Marie Cox, and Madison Unterstein, and freshman Raven Linton. This defense was a top-20 scoring defense last season and they look to improve on that as the new season approaches.
Finally, at Goalkeeper we have a three-way competition that includes freshman Gianna Guerra and Erica Rinsky along with sophomore Alexa Carbone. All three players competing have a lot of skill, so it should be a fun to see who wins the full-time position.
The Chargers kicked off the season on Thursday, March 2 with a 15-10 non-conference win against Malloy. The Chargers will look to continue that success on Monday, March 6 against conference rival Southern Connecticut State. If everything goes as planned, the Chargers should make noise in both the NE-10 and the NCAA DII tournament.