Eight consecutive seasons of 10 or more wins has this year’s women’s lacrosse team driven with one goal in mind: the conference title.
Last year, the Profs dominated the field of play and continued to develop their core of young athletes, but ultimately fell short in the playoffs against Montclair State in the semifinals.
The brown and gold come into the season with an even split of upper (13) and underclassmen (12) to round out their 25 player roster. Eleven-year head coach Lindsay Delaney is hoping this mix of a youthful core and veteran leadership will push the Profs over the edge this season and into the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship game.
When it comes to the mix of experience set on the roster, Delaney is hopeful the road has been paved by the upperclassmen to grow the younger Profs into special players.
“Hopefully they set the path and the young kids just follow in,” Delaney said. “The juniors and seniors have done a great job of blurring the lines.”
The Profs collected their 100th win for their long time coach, who is 108-64 overall, last season, and it’s the kind of continued success they hope to build on this season as the brown and gold look to become even more formidable NJAC opponents.
“I’m really excited, the team this year is very dynamic,” said junior captain Maddie Bray. “I think this is our year.”
Bray lit up the league last season as an all-conference player, leading Rowan in goals (40), points (45) and shots on goal (63). It’s the type of success she will need, as Bray carries this team into the 2018 season as one of its leaders, along with additional all-conference junior midfielders Taylor Gretz and Liz Kramer.
Another veteran the Profs will lean on this season is four-year starter goalie Erin Horner. Horner went 11-6 with a 9.26 goals against average last season and looks to build on her success as one of the best goalies in Rowan history. Currently ranked eighth all-time in saves (315), she looks to continue to climb the rankings in the record books this season and hunker down for a serious run to the playoffs with three-year backup Emma Frost by her side.
With games against both teams from last year’s NJAC Championship game in Montclair and NCAA Championship Game runner-ups TCNJ on the schedule for 2018, the brown and gold have a tough road ahead of them if they are to reach the success they strive for.
“As long as we’re better at the end of the day everyday, we’ll take it one day at a time,” Delaney said.
When asked if they will start the season off with a win, both Delaney and Bray responded with a resounding “Yes.”
And the Profs did just that, taking down Ursinus College for the fourth consecutive year on opening day. Fittingly, Bray scored the game-winning goal with 4:48 remaining in the second half. She had six goals in the contest.
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