By Francesca Smigliani
This past Thursday night, the Lady Bulldogs lined up at the half time of the Men’s Basketball game for the acceptance of their NEC Championship rings from the 2017 season. The Women’s Lacrosse team had an extremely successful 2017 season landing them the regular season championship along with going undefeated in the NEC playoffs, and becoming the NEC Champions.
This season the Bulldogs have grown stronger and are determined to bring back another NEC title. The team has now gained ten new freshmen, ranging within a wide variety of positions. “The Freshman class came in very strong and all fall they have been meshing really well with the rest of the team. I’ve seen their confidence grow so much and they are going to help us a lot when taking on our new and challenging schedule this spring”, says sophomore attacker, Caitlin Breglia. The remaining ten seniors have been lucky enough to have received two rings in the past three years and are eager to get another one!
The Senior class has made it their goal to go undefeated this season and they, along with the rest of the team, are fully prepared to turn that goal into a reality. Junior captain, Lauren Britton said “I am really excited for this upcoming season. I feel that this year is going to be a special one in terms of reaching our goals and earning that Top 20 team status. With an experienced group of upperclassmen and a talented group of underclassmen, we are prepared more than ever to compete with any team on our schedule.” The returners are all so excited to start off their season with the first scrimmage against Yale, on February 10th.
Returning for her 6th year is Head Coach, Jill Batchelor, who is excited to lead this team to yet another championship. Coach Jill has turned the program around, and turned this team into what it is today. If it weren’t for her drive, motivation, and confidence within the players, the Women’s Lacrosse program would not be such a success. Returning to the team is two of the assistant coaches from last year: Kelsea Donnelly and Madison Lesher. Kelsea joined the Lady Bulldogs last year after graduating from Townson University, as the first goalie coach that the girls have ever had. The entire team had nothing but raves about how much of a difference the goalies have seen in their play. “It’s so great having a coach who feels so passionately about our sport. She has given us so much guidance and helped us improve our game so much both physically and mentally, and I am so thankful to have had that here for my last two years”, says senior goalie, Samantha Santeramo.
Coach Maddison Lesher has also returned for another year of coaching after graduating from Loyola University. Maddie has been a huge component to the Bulldogs defensive portion of the team. Her skill and lacrosse IQ have tremendously helped the team’s defense become the backbone of their success. She is constantly adding new ideas to help make this program grow. Senior captain Amanda Moss said, “Ever since Maddie came to Bryant she instilled in each player, the confidence they need to be successful and a belief that you are an important of this team, no matter who you were before you came here. She took the time to individualized relationships with each teammate and created an atmosphere that made all of us want to constantly get better.”
The team cannot wait to get the ball rolling. With preseason already underway, the girls are patiently waiting to start competing and make history!