After finishing third in the RMAC Conference three straight seasons, the women’s lacrosse team is looking for a breakout year.
When last season ended with a loss to the eventual national champions, the Lions took it upon themselves to put every second of the offseason to use.
“There’s actually a Facebook group for all of us on the team, and we all use trackers to track how far we run and so we would all post screenshots of how far we ran during the summer and motivated each other that way,” said junior Allison Hurley.
The practice ensured everyone would come into the season in shape and fueled a drive to win it all.
“This year we want to do something we’ve never done before, so we have to start doing things we’ve never done before,” said senior Erin Abbott. “After practice we’ll do extra sprints, go out of their way to build relationships with everybody. Across the board, a harder work ethic.”
Coaches have noticed an improvement in the intangibles as well.
“Off the field, they’ve stepped it up as far as maintaining the core values and the concept that team comes before anything else,” said assistant coach Brian Smith. “The girls all know they’re playing for each other, which is huge, instead of playing for themselves.”
When all of the mental pieces fall into place the way that they have been, practices become something the Lions look forward to and physical improvements take off, which is even more of a blessing with the season starting earlier this year due to J-term’s removal.
“We actually got a lot more time to train this season,” Smith said. “We probably got twice the amount of time to prepare.”
Although most polls have the Lions ranked around number four, senior players said they feel now more than ever that this is their breakout year.
“The motivation doesn’t come from who won the national championship,” Abbott said. “The motivation I feel now comes from us finishing third. I want to win more than anything. I’ve felt the third-place sting for the last three years.”