Rowan’s lacrosse team kicked off the 2023 season with a 16-11 victory against Ursinus College on Wednesday, Feb. 22, setting an example of how they want the rest of the year to go.
“We definitely got off to a slow start but once we rallied in the second half, we were on it,” junior captain Sophia Schiavo said. “We started getting draw controls, started picking up the ground balls being caused in turnovers and finishing. So I think once we got through that first-half slump, we had a great game.”
Fellow junior captain Hannah Lombardo explained the mental factor of this game — a mentality they will want to bring into the rest of the season.
“I think once we really started to trust each other and be confident in each other’s abilities, that’s when we play our best,” Lombardo said. “Definitely, in the second half, we all just trusted each other and then lifted each other up and that’s definitely how we came out on top.”
The Profs are looking forward to building off their first victory and creating a new team dynamic to hopefully make it to the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and NCAA tournaments this year.
“I’m just looking forward to playing as a unit on and off the field,” Lombardo said. “I’m looking forward to winning all of our games, working together and celebrating the little things and winning an NJAC, and getting into the NCAA.”
Schiavo on the other hand is most looking forward to the underclassmen playing during the season.
“I’m really excited for the freshmen and sophomores to really show up,” Schiavo said. “I think they’ve been grinding all preseason so I’m excited to see what the season holds for them.”
Senior goalkeeper, Reilly Shaup discussed the dynamic of the team this year, as the team has added in quite a few new faces.
“This team is so close and when the freshmen came in, it wasn’t a weird transitional period,” Shaup said. “They jumped in and they kind of found their own and it was really nice to see them become our own teammates at one point.”
Schiavo also spoke about the dynamic of the team this season and how it compares to previous years.
“It’s definitely different than the past two years that we’ve been here,” Schiavo said. “I feel like everyone has kind of just locked in ready to grind and everyone’s here for the same purpose.”
Head Coach Lindsay Delaney is looking forward to see how the leaders on this squad will step up to the plate and if the freshman will perform to their expected level.
“I’m looking forward to seeing this leadership group with Lombardo, Schiavo and Julianna Corson and really make this program better at the end than when we started,” Coach Delaney said. “All ten freshmen have different roles in the program. Some are expected to perform right now.”
Coach Delaney gave some insight on how the freshman can reach the goals laid out for them.
“Just learning from those around you,” Coach Delaney said. “A lot of learning but yet expertise should perform. They’re athletic, they’re really nice lacrosse players. So we expect them to perform.”
Specifically, when it comes to the ones protecting the goal, the Profs will be rotating three goalkeepers in the cage throughout the season. Starting will be Shaup, with fellow veteran Mel Rodgers being second in command and finally with newcomer Emily Ketcham as an addition.
“Rodgers is obviously earned her right to be in the cage and she’s a very nice goalkeeper,” Coach Delaney said. “Rodgers is a four-year senior who is scrappy and quick. Emily [Ketcham] is learning so she won’t get in as much as Mel [Rodgers] but Reilly [Shaup] is our top goalkeeper.”
Shaup discussed how the rotation with the three goalkeepers will be as well as supporting each other throughout the season.
“It’s a little different because Mel [Rodgers] and I have always been used to the two of us and Ketcham is really new to the team,” Shaup said. “We have each other’s backs, I would say more than anyone on the team just because of our positions and how hard and mentally draining it can be so we always pick each other up and hold each other strong.”
The Profs are remaining strong in the early part of this season, as they picked up another victory in their first home game of the year, 16-7 over Drew University on Wednesday, March 1.
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