The women’s lacrosse team is off to a cold start of the 2015 season with indoor practices and preparation for the season to come.
“Our biggest goal is winning the conference championship,” head coach Ashley Hughes said. “Last year we had a great group but our season ended early with a loss at the semi finals. It was a heartbreaker but it is motivation to go to the semi finals and finals, and pull out a big win.”
Emily Watto, ’18, said the team also has a goal of achieving the highest sports GPA.
The team is working on acheiving their goals and readying themselves for the season. However, being a spring sport, practices can change at the last minute.
“The weather is always a challenge,” Hughes said. “As long as it isn’t snowing and it is above 30 degrees we are outside. They will plow off the turf for us, but the temperatures keep us inside longer.”
Colleen Bodnar, ’17, said indoor practices are a challenge because of the limited space available, and the air being different indoors.
“Space inside is a tough, and a big issue. The width of an outdoor field is 60-70 yards and indoors we have maybe 40. Also the balls bounce differently,” Hughes said.
After practicing indoors for a few weeks, the first practice is expected to be an adjustment but the team is ready to play outside.
“The first day outside is an adjustment because it is a whole new world out there,” Hughes said.
Each practice brings a new chance for the team to tune their skills and grow as a player.
“We have a general structure for practice,” Hughes said. “We start with a warm up, then last year we started doing a fun team bonding activity after warmup. Things like relays, human knot, non lacrosse related leadership things. Then we do some drills, at least 20 minutes of scrimmaging, and some fitness.”
Watto said the preseason practices give new teammates a time to learn how others play and helps the team work together.
“A new freshman class coming in is a challenge. The talent is great, we have to readjust and click again, it’s a learning curve,” Hughes said. “We graduated three starting defensive players, so we will have a young defense. We have to catch up very quickly and that’s something we are aware of in practice.”
Spring sports have a five week preseason, compared to the two week preseason fall sports have.
“A spring season is difficult because there is a long preseason. The monotony of being inside and the weather outside can be draining on spirits,” Hughes said. “Energy levels can differ but strong leaders help to keep it up. Then games bring a new energy level.”
Bodnar said the team takes it upon themselves to watch out for each other and keep spirits up.
“This year is our second year with a new coach, our returning players and coach know what they are doing so we are working on fine tuning,” Bodnar said.
The team is ready for the game season to start.
“The game season is exciting. We have built the schedule with more competitive, non-conference games,” Hughes said. “Then our conference play after, which we will be well prepared for. I’m excited to see where we can go. I have faith in our talent and motivation.”
Bodnar said she is looking forward to the spring break trip the team is going on to Florida.