Rowan women’s lacrosse earned the third-seed spot for the 2021 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Women’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament.
On April 28, the team will play against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), the second-seed, in a semi-final matchup. Both teams previously competed against each other April 10, with TCNJ taking the win 11-22.
The Profs last played against Montclair State University on April 24, with a loss of 10-13. Their overall record for the season, not including the semi-final matchup, stands at 3-6. Coach Lindsay Delaney is looking for the team to make a comeback against TCNJ.
“We know it’s going to be tough, we’re aware what the history is between us and TCNJ, we’re aware of all the things that everyone can go look up themselves,” Delaney said. “But we’re also aware that we didn’t give them a good game the first time. We’re a better program than we were then, and they’re going to be a better program than they were then, so could we have the same outcome? Sure. Will we? Doubtful. We want to give them a better game and we don’t want to worry about them, we just want to worry about ourselves.”
Senior attacker Ashley Lechliter had career-highs in the matches against Kean, Stockton and Montclair State universities. During the game against Kean on April 17, Lechliter scored an impressive seven goals that helped lead the team to a win of 18-5. In the game against Stockton on April 20, she scored two goals by the first period. In her final semester and season with the Profs, the semi-finals matchup against TCNJ is a chance for redemption.
“TCNJ is always somebody that we strive to beat, so the mindset is to play as a team, and we can do it,” said Lechliter.
Delaney and alumni of the team have a sign that says “Home,” accompanied by the coordinates of Richard Wackar Stadium. Even though the Profs’ overall record this season is not what they want it to be, the bond among the players makes up for the losses.
“At the end of the day, the only people that know how much work they put in and how much commitment this group has is the 29 of us that are standing there every day,” Delaney said. “It’s our program, our university, our campus, it’s home to us, but our field is where we all come back, and how they grow and mature. The growth that they go through, and the program, makes you want to come back.”
Lechliter has been a lacrosse athlete at Rowan for the past four years and has seen many highs and lows with the team. Something she shares with Delaney is appreciating how close the team has become in that time.
“We’re all so close,” Lechliter said. “We all love each other so much and it’s basically a family. I feel like some teams don’t really have that chemistry you would have with your team with everyone, but I can say that we’re all very close with each other.”
This team was one of the few spring sports to play a season this semester. Competing in games and staying focused during COVID-19 has no doubt been challenging and confusing, but the Profs pulled through.
Lechliter explained some of these setbacks.
“I mean, [because of] people getting COVID and not having some of our people… every game our lineup would probably change differently,” Lechliter said. “Either somebody could be out with having to quarantine or they’re hurt, so injuries and COVID, and not having a set lineup to the last couple games.”
For the end of the season and the graduating seniors, Delaney has a message.
“I would tell them that they’re good enough just the way they are, and their best equals anyone else’s best in the country,” Delaney said. “Once they give their best to each other, then we’ll start seeing changes in the right direction, and they should be proud of themselves.”
“They should… give themselves credit for all the things that they’ve been able to accomplish in a contact sport,” Delaney said. “And you did it, and you did it with adversity.”
On April 28, Lechliter, Julia Grlica, Elise Cohan and Erin Scioli were named to the NJAC Women’s Lacrosse All-Conference Team, as voted on by the league’s coaches. Grlica, Lechliter and Scioli earned first-team honors while Cohan was an honorable mention selection.
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