High expectations surround women's lacrosse in 2016

The Geneseo women’s lacrosse team is coming into its spring season with high expectations all around. Head coach Carly Ritchlin expressed her excitement about the upcoming season, noting that she has plenty of confidence in both the returning players and the newcomers.

“This team has the tools and the talent in order to be successful, but the games are going to be a good test,” Ritchlin said.

Being nationally ranked 16th, the Knights have high expectations from both within and outside of the team. If the women play as well as they are supposed to, they have a very good chance of earning the SUNYAC title.

This year marks a change for the Knights, as they finally have a solid home field to play on. With College Stadium finally finished, the women will get to play on turf as opposed to grass and they do not have to spend the entire month of March travelling for games. They will be able to start off their season with home field advantage, which could potentially be very beneficial to their season.

Not only has the team been unable to play a home game in March for the past 13 years, but the Knights and Ritchlin have also been waiting that long to have a turf field. This only adds to the team’s level of enthusiasm for their season to take off.

While the Knights may be ready to go skill-wise, there are still elements of the team that need to be worked on. The individual readiness of the players regarding balancing schoolwork and lacrosse is one of them. This is essential to every team, as it keeps the focus of the players where it should be. Ritchlin explained that she works to emphasize the importance of maintaining this healthy balance between academics, athletics and overall well-being.

“It’s going to be individual preparation, so making sure all of our players are paying attention to the balance of work and games and travel and all that—staying on top of that,” she said. “They put everything into it. They put their heart and souls into our program. So I can’t ask for much more regarding that. It’s really going to be about preparation and focus and then maintaining that focus throughout the season.”

If the whole team does maintain an equal amount of contribution and hard work—both on and off the field—they should be able to achieve their goals. Ritchlin expects to have everyone play their roles as needed in order to bring success to the team.

“I think really for us to win games, we need our defense to step up and slow other teams down, but we also need our attack,” she said. “It’s really an effort across the board. There’s not one or the other that will tip the scale. So if the two step and play their role and do what they are expected to do, then we will be successful.”