Women’s Lacrosse Gets New Head Coach

Womens Lacrosse Gets New Head Coach

Zoe Laporte, Reporter

With an all-new coaching staff and a huge roster, the women’s lacrosse team is working to achieve an excellent season.

The lacrosse team opened the season with a scrimmage against Goucher College, but the season officially began on Feb. 22 against Albright University.

“We did well in our opening scrimmage against Goucher with scores by ten different players,” said junior patient navigation major and attack player Olivia Garcia.

“Our game against Albright was a close challenge, and we finished ahead of Susquehanna [University] in our last game.”

MaryKate Stauffer is the interim coach for the 2016-2017 year, and Brenna Gallagher is the graduate assistant coach.

“I joined the coaching staff this past fall and the team was nothing but respectful, receptive of the coaching ideas and philosophies that were introduced, and accepting of my arrival to the staff,” said Gallagher.

Both Gallagher and Stauffer have experience. Gallagher, a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was a four-year starter as a defender. Stauffer coached Misericordia’s women’s lacrosse team during its first season in 2002.

“It’s still early in the season, but so far things are going well,” said junior speech language pathology major and midfielder Ashley Hobbs.

“We have a lot of talented underclassmen and a much bigger roster than we’ve had in years past.”

The lacrosse team sports 35 players, which is an increase from previous years.

“We have a lot of new additions to the roster as well as a lot of returning leadership from last season,” said Gallagher.

The increased roster has led to more interest in the team, which has enabled coaches to play strong athletes at any time.

“It definitely helps to have more people on the sideline who can play just as well as the starters,” said Hobbs.

Gallagher said the transition has been fruitful.

“The girls have responded really well to the transition and have come together as a unit and continue to support and encourage one another on and off the field,” Gallagher said.

“Coach Stauffer and I have done our best to collaborate with one another to have a successful season as well as making the transition as easy as possible for our players.”

Players will continue to adjust to the changes, Hobbs said. “We’ve always been a close group of girls, and if anything this situation has helped us grow closer.”

Hobbs said the coaching staff’s experience shows.

“Coach Brenna has done an exceptional job of blending her experience from when she played with the personnel of our team. Coach B is our G.A. but she takes on the responsibilities of a head coach – and makes it look easy. Because Coach S can’t be on campus during the day, Coach B does almost everything needed to run the team by herself.”

Garcia agreed that the assistant coach is also a positive addition. “We meet regularly with our coaches and receive feedback from our games as well as make strategies for upcoming plays.”

The players have set their minds to working cooperatively with their team, Gallagher said.

“The team has been very opened minded and they come to practice every day wanting to improve and prepare for our games, week by week, and they still are focused on the goals that were set prior to the coaching change,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher said the season looks bright.

“I believe that the success that we have and will continue to have is because the girls have respect for each one another and are a close knit group,” she said.

Hobbs agreed, and added that the team was an important factor in her decision to attend Misericordia.

“Part of the reason why the Misericordia women’s lacrosse team stood out to me while I was looking at different schools was because of how close the team and coaching staff was.”

While the players range in age and experience, the differences have not stopped them from working together as one team.

“Some of us as juniors and seniors have played several years together. We continue to keep a positive attitude and encourage everyone to work as a team. We look forward to working together with all the new players to keep the team united,” Garcia said.

While having 35 players may seem daunting, Gallagher does not feel intimidated.

“Although we have a large roster, I feel fortunate as a coach to have a team that has been able to come together and make this transition a smooth and positive one. “

The team has been able to overcome their challenges of a new coach easily and has shown a sense of camaraderie that is strong.

“The team is very mature and regardless of the change in coaching staff they all share common goals and all want to be at practice every day, continuing to work hard and improve to win games,” says Gallagher.

The women’s lacrosse team has two upcoming home games – March 15 at 4 p.m. against Hood College and March 21 at 4 p.m. against Lycoming College. The season continues until May.