"We're a small team, so you can't really not get to know people in that situation," said Meg Robinson, a sophomore broadcast journalism major.,Emerson women's lacrosse Head Coach Michael Blanchard considers the small number of players on his team's roster its greatest disadvantage. His players see it as their biggest asset.
"We're a small team, so you can't really not get to know people in that situation," said Meg Robinson, a sophomore broadcast journalism major. "You're around the whole team for the whole practice, we hang out together outside of practice. We're teammates and we're friends, so we work together better."
Senior Jessie Kalikow agrees with her teammate.
"We're close from just practicing together," the writing for film and TV major said. "Running seven suicides at a time, we start to bond as a team."
Though the short roster can lead to closer relationships between team members, Blanchard still sees it as a burden. Because of the small number of girls, when any one of them is sick or injured, the team suffers more.
When Robinson first came to Emerson, she had doubts about whether or not she wanted to continue playing lacrosse, but changed her mind once she stepped onto the practice field.
"I had a bad experience in high school," she said. "But Emerson's team really came together during preseason and made it fun and worthwhile. It made me like the sport again."
Half of the 16-player-deep roster is made up of freshmen. Kalikow said the team has had no problem incorporating these new members.
"We're learning how to play with each other," she said. "We're getting a feel for the team dynamic."
Blanchard sees his new girls as an advantage. He said since the team features eight new players, opponents will have had less of a chance to scout them heading into games.
Kalikow said the team has been working hard to prepare for the start of the regular season, which begins today against the Wheaton College Lions.
"We've definitely been focusing on conditioning," she said. "We're all in the best shape we've been in a long time."
Blanchard said he's been very happy with the girls' performance during the preseason, explaining that this year they're more focused and in better shape.
The team recently faced its first test, scrimmaging against Babson College and Southern New Hampshire University at the Hampshire Dome on Feb. 23. Blanchard said he was impressed by the girls' performance.
"They came out against them and played well and strong. It was a close game," Blanchard said, referring to the Babson game. "The Emerson women were really able to stay with them. They really held their own."
Blanchard wasn't quite as satisfied with the team's performance against SNHU, saying they may have come out too hyped up for the game and did not play as well as they could have. However, Blanchard said he remains optimistic for the season.
"They had a hard time believing in themselves last year," he said. "This year, they realized they could achieve more, that they were good."
Robinson said that she felt her team's strong performance during the preseason was a direct result of the effort they put in during their training.
Kalikow said her goal for the season would be to qualify for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs.
"I would love to make the playoffs; we have a shot at doing really well in the GNAC," she said. "If last year's any indication, we have a real chance."