The Emerson women’s lacrosse team finished off last year with a 3-5 record in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, and 8-6 overall, missing the conference playoffs by one seed. According to second year head coach Kat Egizi, they can and want to improve.
“My goals last year were pretty much to start building the program from the ground up, teaching them the way I wanted them to play, the culture that I wanted to start and developing relationships with players on the team,” Egizi said.
Egizi has a long lacrosse resume and is currently on her third year of coaching. She played for Union College for four years then took an assistant coaching position at Wellesley College after she graduated. After one year there, the head coaching job at Emerson opened up and the opportunity was to good to pass up.
Senior captain and midfielder Tayllar Righini has played lacrosse at Emerson for the past three years, accumulating 44 goals. She said Egizi is well-liked and goes above and beyond to assist players.
“Kat has all of my trust and all of my respect and that goes for all of our teammates,” Righini, a communication sciences and disorders major, said. “She's so knowledgeable and she's willing to help at any time. If anyone ever has a problem, she wants to do what she can to help them, and she genuinely cares about everyone.”
There are five freshmen on the team this year, and according to Righini, they are all meshing well with the team.
“I can’t even tell classes when I'm on the field,” Righini said. “I feel totally comfortable passing the ball to anybody.”
The Lions have been in preseason training for over a month now. The women will be traveling to Florida over the school’s spring break, and according to Egizi the team will be playing good competition while there, including Roger Williams University and Nazareth College.
“Spring break is always such an important part of a women’s lacrosse team,” Egizi said. “You get a chance to reset and focus only on lacrosse and only on the team. The weather is going to be great, but more importantly, it’s going to be a week of team time that will hopefully take us to the other end and just bring us that much closer.”
Righini said the team is ready for live action.
“I think everyone is excited to get out of the cold and start playing games,” Righini said.
Many members spoke about their low preseason NEWMAC ranking in a coaches poll, and were more motivated than angry, as the top six qualify for the playoffs.
Sophomore visual and media arts major Meredith Weber was named to the second team all-conference last season. The midfielder believes the low expectations are pushing the team to succeed.
“I’m looking forward to all the upsets we’re going to have,” said Weber. “I’m really excited to prove the NEWMAC wrong.”
The Lions have circled two matchups in particular on their schedule—the first against Mount Holyoke College, who beat Emerson 9-6 last year, and the second against Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where they also lost 19-8. Mount Holyoke went on to clinch the final seed in the playoffs over Emerson.
“We know we can beat Holyoke every year, and it’s always so close, but I think this year is going to be different,” Righini said.“In the first 10 minutes, it was neck and neck against MIT, and I think if we play them this year for the full game like we did in that 10 minute span, it'll be a different outcome.”
Weber believes the skills and ability the team has this season will be the driving factor behind their success.
“I think this is the most talented team we've had in a really long time,”Weber said. “I definitely expect to make it to the NEWMAC tournament.”
The Lions opened their season yesterday with a 17-13 win over Keene State College. They will face Lasell College, which Emerson beat 13-12 in overtime last season, at home on Saturday at 1 p.m.