The University’s women’s lacrosse season may not start until Feb. 24, but the team has been focusing on perfecting its game since a crushing defeat in last season’s Landmark Conference championship game.
The Royals are eager to bounce back from that season-ending loss and have high expectations for themselves. The team landed the second seed in the Landmark Conference preseason poll, and expect to see positive results from the hours of practice they have dedicated to the game.
Senior midfielder and captain Kailyn Angelo discussed what the Royals’ game plan for the season will be.
Angelo, who picked up All-Landmark Conference Second Team honors last season, is also the Royals’ all-time leader in draw controls.
The team opens its season 1 p.m. Saturday Feb. 24 at Farmingdale State College.
Q: What do you think will be the team’s greatest strength of the season?
A: We have a lot of returning players so I think this year we feel stronger and more confident with everyone who’s coming back from the starting lineup. We only graduated two seniors, they were great leaders, but we have a lot of our scorers back, a lot of our core defensive players and all of our midfield returning. So I think going into this season we feel very experienced and ready to go.
Q: What do you think will the team’s biggest weakness?
A: Definitely the rule changes this year. Division III women’s lacrosse changed the rules. We have a 90 second shot clock now and a free movement rule, so nobody has to stop on a whistle. I think across the entire league everyone is adjusting to those rules and learning how to use them in their favor and just play the game with the new rules in place.
Q: Is there anything the team is focusing on specifically as preparation for the season?
A: I think this year we are going to try to push the fast break and get those quick goals. And then we’ll really slow them down on defense and stop them by using the 90 second shot clock in our favor. So, that will involve winning the draw, pushing the fast break and going quickly on attack while slowing them down on defense.
Q: Who will be the team’s greatest opponent this season?
A: The Catholic University of America is our rival. We have lost to them two year in a row in the [Landmark Conference] championship. This year with returning a lot of our starters we hope we can overcome them and beat them.
Q: Do you see a Landmark Conference championship title in your future?
A: I do. Hopefully this is the year.
Q: Is there one thing you are most looking forward to this season?
A: It’s my last year, I’m a senior, so I’m just looking forward to everything. Everything is going to be the last. I’ll have my last first home game, my last year, my last senior night. I’m extremely looking forward to playing on the new field. We’re supposed to be on there mid-April, so I’m really looking forward to that.