With the end of the lacrosse season looming, Rowan is focusing on the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and closing out strong.
Head coach Lindsay Delaney knows what she is expecting from her squad throughout the rest of the season, and made that very clear.
“You can expect to see the same that you’ve seen before NJAC started,” Delaney said. “So a team that wants to be better at the end of the season than when they started.”
Hard work, grit and determination have paid off for the Brown and Gold so far, standing at 7-4 and 2-0 in the conference. Senior midfielder Liz Kramer—who has just won the NJAC Women’s Lacrosse Player of the Week for the third time this season—knows that the grind isn’t over.
“I would say every day you come out, you give your best. Some days are more challenging than others,” Kramer said. “But I would say every day is hard. We’re all working hard, it’s just a different challenge each day.”
The last time Rowan won the NJAC title was 20 Marvel movies ago, Game of Thrones was just a bunch of books, Billboard’s number one song was B.o.B’s “Nothin’ On You” featuring Bruno Mars and this year’s freshmen were in fourth grade. The school that has stood in their way? The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).
In the last four years, the Profs are 0-6 against the Lions, including a loss in the NJAC Championship last year and in 2015. TCNJ has won the last eight NJAC titles.
“I don’t expect anything new from TCNJ that we haven’t already seen,” Delaney said. “I just expect to come out and compete and try to be better at the end of the day, just like they’re going to do against Stockton [on the 9th]. They have a new defense, they have a new draw circle but so do we.”
The team handled Stockton on Tuesday, winning 16-7. Up 5-4, Rowan went on a 9-0 run throughout the ending stages of the first half and in the first 14 minutes of the second half.
Kramer and senior attack Mikala Gillespie are on the same page as Delaney when it comes to preparing for TCNJ. They’ve seen TCNJ-level talent all season and feel prepared for what they’ll see come next Tuesday.
Delaney also said the key to stopping the Lions is cohesiveness and figuring out what the team needs to do to perform at a higher level. They aren’t planning on shutting out opponents every game, and will aim to take things as they come.
As for Kramer and Gillespie, they’re not feeling too pressured when it comes to finishing off their collegiate careers on a high note and taking TCNJ’s throne.
“I don’t know if you would say it’s pressure,” Kramer said. “Obviously, you want to go out with a bang and have that glory or whatever, but I think at the end of the day, if we’re having fun as a team and hitting our team goals, then that’s it for us really.”
“Every season you want to go out with a bang,” Gillespie said. “It’s special because it’s our last. But I think that at the end of the season we’ll be happy with whatever we do. As long as we’re getting better every day.”
The Profs continue their stretch of six straight NJAC games this Saturday, traveling to Mahwah, New Jersey to see Ramapo College for the first time this year. They beat Ramapo 21-3 last season.
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