Women’s Lacrosse Players Eager to Return to Field


Zachary Pippen

Junior sports management major Meaghan Kelly, left, looks to feed down low while sophomore occupational therapy major Molly Celesky, right, defends in the 8 meter.

Zachary Pippen, Reporter

Women’s lacrosse team players are practicing again, and while they are eager to return to the field, they are taking advantage of some unexpected perks that result from new regulations.

One new rule for the players in the offseason is that they may hold more practices with fewer players at once, giving them 21 offseason practices. Some players view the rule as an opportunity.

“This gives us time to learn to play together and work on offseason conditioning,” said Alyssa Grieco, junior government, law and national security major.

But the opportunity comes with a challenge: building team chemistry.

“Normally, our team would all go to the cafe and get breakfast after practice, so finding new ways to bond has been challenging,” said Taylor Hannaberry, senior psychology major.

Hannaberry feels not having full team practices has effected the way she bonds with the other players, especially the freshmen.

“It’s very different not practicing as an entire team and having shortened practice sessions to accommodate the new rules put in place. The thing I think is most impacted is our team chemistry since there are some freshman I haven’t met yet, not over more than a quick team meeting over Zoom,” she said.

The team has found other ways to bond. Players and coaches hold regular  Zoom meetings to help the team members get to know each other despite limited opportunities to meet in person. Players have also enjoyed exercises such as Zoom bingo.

The upper-class players also use a special strategy to help new freshman become adjusted to the team. They do this through a system they call “sisters,” in which an upperclassman is paired with a freshman to do things like work out and practice together. They say this strategy not only helps the freshmen players feel closer to upperclassmen but also helps the players bond and hold each other accountable for the team’s success.

Grieco said players have been practicing early in the morning and working outs with small conditioning groups for further improvement and conditioning.  She said she has seen good things so far from the separate practice groups, and that makes her even more eager to get back out on the field as a complete team.

“We’re just taking it one practice at a time, taking the time to learn about each other and build that team chemistry all teams need to do well,” she said.

Alyssa Grieco (middle), junior midfielder, covers Alyssa Delgadillo (right), junior attack and speech language pathology major, while cutting across the field looking for a pass with goalie Maggie McGovern (left) covering the goal. (Zachary Pippen)

Players say they have been enjoying their free time outside of practices. Hannaberry has been spending her time doing both leisure activities and new hobbies.

“I have been getting really caught up in Tik Tok lately, but when a couple of hours go by and I start to feel really unproductive, I will do a workout or go for a run,” she said.

She said running was something she started to fill the gap of lacrosse, but since she started doing it more, it has become another beloved hobby.

“I got really into running because it felt weird not practicing every day and it kind of just stuck with me, so if I have nothing going on I’ll go for a run,” she said.

Grieco said the change in regulations hasn’t allowed her too much free time, as she still dedicates most of her time practice.

“Lacrosse hasn’t changed with free time for me,” she said. “We wake up earlier and have the whole day as free time, so it doesn’t really affect my schedule.”

Since there is no season in the fall and all sports were cancelled last spring, the team has been given an extra year of eligibility. Still, many players are looking to further their education once they graduate.

“As a junior it won’t affect me too much, but I do know I am not staying for the extra year. I want to go to law school, so I won’t be staying here,” said Grieco.

Hannaberry plans to use her math minor and go to graduate school to become a math teacher. But lacrosse will always be a fond memory, particularly when the lacrosse team won MAC Championship.

Luckily since we are in the off season, the only difference that Corona has caused to our fall season is that we are unable to have a play day where we normally play different schools one weekend.  But I hope this all gets situated by the spring so we can have a season,” she said. 

Maggie McGovern, junior goalie and early childhood special education major, looks to defend incoming shots from up-top (Zachary Pippen)