After reaching the semifinals of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) playoffs last season, the women's lacrosse team hopes to leave a legacy by winning the championship in its last year in the conference.
“We have very high expectations for this season,” said midfielder Krystie Zoch, a junior communication sciences and disorders major. “We have a really strong freshman class that is really going to help us out.”
The team has introduced nine freshmen to its roster, the most of any male or female spring sport this year.
Head coach Megan Moore said the team has a much more aggressive mentality this season, which will help take it further into the playoffs.
“We definitely have more talent and size this year than we did last year,” Moore said. “We have more offensive options this season and we have a larger roster, so we are very excited about that because we struggled on that end a bit last season.”
The Lions had a 6-3 conference record last spring and were eliminated from the playoffs after losing to Lasell College 11-7 in the semifinals. The team finished third in GNAC standings.
Chelsea Phillips, a junior marketing communication major and a midfielder, said she expects a higher level of unity and teamwork on the field this season.
“I think last year playing together was a bit of an issue,” Phillips said. “Last season, every knew how to put the ball in the back of the net so we all tried to do it individually. But this, season our team chemistry is much higher, and we all know how to move the ball together.”
This is the last semester Emerson athletics will compete in the GNAC, as the program will transfer to the New England Women’s and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) this fall.
Victoria Kanaris, a freshman goalkeeper and visual and media arts major, said because the team is leaving the GNAC this year, the players have even more motivation to strive toward their ultimate goal of winning the championship.
“One reason why we want to win so badly is because we do want to leave a good impression in the conference, and for Emerson's legacy to be known within the conference,” Kanaris said. “It would also give us a presence going into NEWMAC, so the teams there don't take us for granted.”
The Lions will open the season in South Carolina on March 2 against Immaculata University, and will play their first home game on March 16 against Saint Joseph's University.
Deffebach can be reached at email@example.com.