by Jasmine Perkins
It was a cold, misty Sunday for the bulldogs as they sought to win their third straight NEC championship. With eleven seconds remaining and trailing by four goals the bulldogs slowly saw their season come to a premature end.
After a year of hardships and countless injuries, the team made its way to regular season champions for the third straight year in 2016 but this was not enough. On May 8th, 2016, at the Bryant University Turf Complex, the Lady Bulldogs came out strong but Wagner escaped with the win to end the Bulldogs run.
Going into the summer and entering the fall season, the players and coaches had nothing but redemption on their minds. The Bryant Women’s lacrosse team is more than ready this year. With the addition of two new assistant coaches, the team plans on maximizing their skills and intensity in their upcoming conference season. Coach Maddison Lesher joins the lady bulldogs to help build a strong defensive unit for the team. Lesher brings a lot of experience and has a strong resume to prove that. Lesher is a 2016 graduate from Loyola University where she was a four-year starter for the Greyhounds. She left the program with All Conference Patriot league awards all four years and was named Defensive Player of the year sophomore, junior and senior year. Alongside Coach Lesher, Kelsey Donnelly joins the bulldogs specializing in goalkeeping. Donnelly’s career was highlighted with many accomplishments, ranking in the all-time top 10 for total saves and save percentage in her career at Towson University. Coach Batcheller is very excited with the addition of the two new coaches. She recently stated, “We have already seen the highest level of fall ball individual improvement since I’ve been at Bryant in all positions!” The new coaching staff has scheduled a tough out of conference schedule that include playing teams like Stony Brook, Navy, and Brown. The coaches hope that playing these top competitive teams will better prepare the Bulldogs in their conference play. This is the program’s first year with two assistant coaches, and from what Coach Batcheller has said, it appears to have made a huge difference. Both Lesher and Donnelly are excited to be a part of the Bryant women’s lacrosse family and are eager to help guide the team to success in the upcoming conference season.
Along with the addition of two new assistant coaches, Coach Batcheller added eight freshman to the Bryant Women’s Lacrosse 2017 roster. “The freshman class has brought much depth to the team in all positions. The upperclassmen seem to have done a great job taking them under their wings because the freshman already look very comfortable in taking risks on the field,” said Batcheller. There is much anticipation to see what else the freshman will bring to the table in the upcoming season after completing such a successful fall ball.
Last year’s loss remains a constant reminder for the Bryant Women’s Lacrosse team to continue to work hard every single day. “I don’t think any of us will forget standing on our home field watching Wagner receive the 2016 NEC Championship Trophy, which they earned that day. I believe that the biggest impact that day had was on our hearts & work ethic,” says Coach Batcheller. This loss has impacted the lady bulldogs tremendously and has made the team realize that championships are not won in a day. Instead, championships are won in months of hard work, dedication, and preparation which they have shown thus far this fall. This year, they will be ready.