After an impressive 12-4 season in 2011, there is a certain level of optimism surrounding Geneseo's women's lacrosse team this year.
"The atmosphere is great. We are all very excited to get the season started," said head coach Carly Ritchlin.
Last year, the team was led by freshman attack Caroline Buonocore, who broke Geneseo's single-season scoring record with 73 goals en route to winning SUNYAC Rookie of the Year and All-Empire Region honors. This year, Ritchlin said she hopes that Buonocore will be able to become a more balanced player and help out on the defensive end.
While the team will miss two-time All-SUNYAC selection Anna Hutchings (‘11), Ritchlin says that there are a number of players ready to step up.
"We are more balanced this year, with speed all over the field," said Ritchlin.
Ritchlin said she is especially excited about her team's "top to bottom" speed, and noted that it was something they never had in the past.
The team kicked off its season with a trip to New Jersey on March 6 to take on the Rowan University Profs, who entered the contest with a 1-1 record.
At the game's start, Richlin stated, "We need to get up on Rowan early and focus on what we do well." The Knights did just that when junior midfielder Lea Paris scored the team's first goal of the season off a pass from classmate and fellow midfielder Rachel Petrone, at 5 minutes, 21 seconds.
The Knights never trailed in the game and led the entire second half in a 17-13 victory.
Despite taking the early lead, the game was close much of the first half, with the exception of the Knights scoring three goals in 72 seconds to take an 8-4 lead.
Buonocore netted the first two of these goals, while Paris added the third with just less than three minutes left in the half. In the final minutes, however, Geneseo let up two goals to take a slim 8-6 lead into halftime.
After taking an 11-7 lead early in the second half, Geneseo let up three consecutive goals to the Profs, to make it an 11-10 game. But just as they did all day, the Knights responded with a run of their own.