By: Megan McCarthy
The 2018-2019 marks a new year for Bryant University’s women’s lacrosse team. Not only did they lose 11 impactful seniors last year, but they also lost their head coach, Jill Batcheller, along with their two assistant coaches, Maddy Lesher and Kelsea Donnelly. All 11 seniors had an impact on the team with experience and energy. All three coaches left Bryant to continue their coaching career at Drexel University. Senior Lauren Britton says, “as sad as it was to see the former coaching staff leave, the team is really anxious and excited about what is in store for the future of our program with this new coaching staff.” Not only does this year’s team have to adjust to losing so many important players, they also have to adjust to new coaches. On top of that, Head Coach Brianna Roche, has still not made it to campus to meet the Bulldogs because she is having her first child on the other side of the country.
Some may think this will be a learning year for the Bulldogs, but Britton thinks otherwise, “after losing 11 seniors as well as our entire coaching staff, some may think we have the odds stacked against us. That could not be any more wrong. Our team is young and hungry. Our new coaches are giving the program a totally whole new look and helping us discover and unleash our potential more and more every day.”
The lacrosse team is currently being coached by Assistant Coaches Jess Antellimi and Jeff Chase. They have started the year off great with the team. “Coach Antellimi and Coach Chase have brought a lot of energy, passion, and creativity to our team thus far,” explains Britton. The Bulldog’s have done a great job adjusting to new coaching styles and new plays. In many cases, this could be a downfall for a formerly successful program to go through so many changes within months; however, the women’s lacrosse team has taken it to their advantage and continues to play fast, smart, and hard.
According to Britton, this year the coaches have a, “high emphasis on the importance of fitness, and our team is in the midst of creating a competitive edge in order to both out run and out play our opponents.” This will be extremely important when it comes down to close games in season. With each repetition, they continue to get better and learn more every day. They have been training hard on the field and in the weight room to exceed the expectations of the new coaching staff.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs took on University of Massachusetts Lowell, Assumption College, and Merrimack College. Each game resulted in wins in which they were ahead at every point in the game. This preseason, the team seems to be playing more as a team instead of relying on one player. Additionally, the players are in much better shape than years past.
In the next few weeks the Bryant Bulldogs suit up for two more tournaments, one at Dartmouth College and the other on their home field. Stay tuned to see how Bryant’s women’s lacrosse team continues their journey