It seems as if the Rowan lacrosse team has finally found its stride, and a big part of it is coming from the underclassmen.
The Profs have won two in a row, including a 20-4 win over Neumann University last Wednesday that saw nine different players score.
In that game, freshman Julianna Corson found the back of the net for the first time in her career, while fellow freshman attack Shannen Sterner recorded her first career hat trick.
“I didn’t really think of it like that,” freshmen Elise Cohan said on recording her first three-goal game. “All the upperclassmen have been talking to me and coach has been talking to me, to just have confidence and not even to be a game changer. Just go in there and keep the same tempo of the game. But I never thought of it like that, but it felt good when it did happen.”
Three days later, the Brown and Gold hosted Cabrini University. This time, it was Cohan tallying her first hat trick, netting four goals in a 22-12 win.
Seniors Maddie Bray (seven goals), Mikala Gillespie (two goals) and Liz Kramer (hat trick) all added to the scoring as well. Kramer and Bray have scored three or more goals in six of the team’s eight games.
Head coach Lindsay Delaney said that the effectiveness the younger players have had on the team and season so far give the Profs a “different look” when they hit the field.
“Our freshman class, like Shannen Sterner and Gianna Rusk, are starters,” Delaney said. “And we have Elise [Cohan] and Jules [Julianna Corson] that come off the bench very quickly. It gives us a lot of depth. The way they play is a different style than some others…I tell them the same thing, ‘as long as you go in, the tempo of play doesn’t change. When you go in, you’re hitting stride.’ If you go in and you excel, that’s icing on the cake. But a lot of the time they go in to give us a different look or to give some people some breaks and it’s really important that they execute.”
These wins have helped the team’s confidence after beginning the season with a 3-3 record.
After beginning the season with a sluggish start, the two wins by large margins are reminiscent of last year’s squad, which went on a nine-game winning streak at one point and had won half of its games by five or more goals.
But even with the team’s success in the last week, Rowan’s preparation and mindset hasn’t changed at all since the beginning of the season.
“The game plan has not changed from game one to now,” Delaney said. “That’s being better at the end of the day than the beginning of the day. It’s that simple, [be better] on both sides of the ball. They can easily go on an easy run here and we also have a really strong schedule. The past two games have been good for us, to come off of spring break and regroup to fix things that we need to fix. We need to apply it when it matters come this week and conference.”
When asked if the two-game winning streak can springboard the team to finish with a solid record, Cohan was nothing short of confident.
“Yes we can,” Cohan said of ending with a top record. “100 percent.”
For comments/questions about this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @TheWhitOnline.