Women’s Lacrosse Captain Dara Hennessy Discusses the Uncertainty of her Final Season

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The Rowan women's lacrosse team prepares for a game in 2019. File Photo /Miguel Martinez

After only being able to play five games last season due to COVID-19, Rowan’s Women’s Lacrosse is hoping to get a chance to compete for a New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship, if they are given the opportunity to play.

This season, seniors Julia Grlica, Ashley Lechliter, Dara Hennessy, and junior Gianna Rusk have been selected as captains. 

Hennessy, who played all five games on attack last season and totaled three goals and one assist, talked about her mentality this season as a senior who might not get the opportunity to step onto the field one final time. 

“Going through this season I’m just so excited to practice again and be with my teammates six days a week…I’ll take anything that I can get at this point,” Hennessy said. “We know that we are building a program for the future, so what we [the senior class] do, we might not see the results right away, but we’re going to see it down the line.” 

Hennessy has been playing lacrosse since seventh grade and when stepping onto Rowan’s campus for the first time she fell in love with the environment and the team and could not imagine herself playing anywhere else. 

Hennessy’s selfless attitude leads her main concern to be the team as a whole, and not just her final season as a senior. They are prioritizing preparing the underclassman to step up in the future seasons. 

“My goals are to just better my teammates and to compete,” Hennessy said. “To just compete at the highest level possible for the last go around and to hopefully have a better record than last year.” 

Even if they do not get a chance to play this season, the team is focused on improving each and every day. But, if they do get a chance, they want to work on their record and have a better start to the season than they did last year.

After going 2-3 in their short season, Hennessy and her teammates are hoping to bounce back and win an NJAC championship.

Taking into consideration the restrictions and the uncertainty of the season, Hennessy describes the growth that her and her team have had throughout the year. 

“We’ve been able to do a lot, like mentally and physically,” Hennessy said. “As far as growing, I feel like every single individual player on our team has grown, whether it’s mentally or physically, like preparing themselves for this season.”

Hennessy’s mentality is different from most senior athletes who are unsure if they will ever put on a Rowan uniform again. 

“We’ve also grown because we have something to hold on to: we all share the common feeling of knowing what it’s like to get something completely taken away from us,” Hennessy said. “So at this point I feel like everyone is on the same page about being all in and not complaining, because we know what it’s like to not have anything.” 

Her main outlook on the season is keeping a positive mindset and not taking any day for granted. Hennessy and her teammates are happy to have the chance to be out on the field practicing and be with each other again.

In her final remarks she offers some advice for her teammates.

“Never take anything for granted, and that what you do off the field matters, because it directly impacts your performance on the field,” Hennessy said. “And I would also say, to want the best for yourself but want the best for your teammates even more.” 

For now, Hennessy will continue to practice and work on improving herself everyday, hoping that she can represent the brown and gold for one final season.

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