BY CLAIRE BACH
In its second season at Franciscan, the women’s lacrosse team has a boosted roster number and a year of experience heading into its new season starting March 1.
The team looks to continue building the program with patience, perseverance and magnanimity as the three key virtues of their focus for the 2014 season.
“We’re in the building years and if we want to be successful we have to be patient with ourselves and our teammates,” head coach Maura Conant said. “We have to persevere when things get rough and through that we become magnanimous.”
In preseason play, the team participated in three scrimmages hosted by Thiel College, which also helped to increase experience. In last year’s scrimmages, the team went scoreless and had very few possessions. This year, the Lady Barons scored in all three scrimmages.
“We got to see where our strengths were and what we needed to work on, so that was really fruitful,” Conant said.
Based on the scrimmages and practice experience, Conant said she is especially excited to see Jessica Bestgen take on the midfield and Catherine Cahill on defense for the team.
“Jess’s experience, skill level and ability on the draw will be really good for us,” Conant said. “Catherine is really good at seeing the ball and seeing defensive opportunities to go for.”
With only one win in the inaugural year, the team struggled with inexperience. In this the second season, there are 21 women on the roster and 10 of the players are experienced, returning members.
“Practices are significantly improved since last year because the greater number in drills allows us to create more realistic game situations in practice,” Conant said.
The returning players include the team captains Meg Gargulinski and Tracy McClelland. Conant said the two captains lead the team both on and off the field in being aware of the team’s needs.
“Everyone on the team wants to be there and the girls give 100 percent,” Conant said. “We have strength in numbers, the desire to win and are play for something greater than ourselves.”
The Lady Baron team looks to put all they have practiced to use in the first game of the season on March 1 at Capital University.