For most students, spring break means a week without responsibilities and classwork; sometimes, spring break is even accompanied by a trip to the beach. For the Geneseo women’s lacrosse team, however, spring break provides them with an invaluable trip—a trip that offers the team the chance to bond while playing the sport they love at a competitive level.
The team traveled down to Clermont, Florida, where they played Messiah College from Pennsylvania and Keene State College from New Hampshire. The Knights split the trip 1-1, but gained more than what statistics can show.
“Spring break is a great time for us to spend some time together as a team—away from the outside stressors that we’re all dealing with—and play some lacrosse,” head coach Carly Ritchlin said, who has lead the Geneseo women’s lacrosse program for 14 years.
The trip allows them to fine-tune their skills, as well as enjoy the warmer weather.
“It’s an important trip for us to really work on our team culture and chemistry,” Ritchlin added.
In addition to enhancing the team culture, Ritchlin said that the trip is important in looking for quality teams to play, as it allows Geneseo to gauge where they stand at an early point in the season.
The Knights have gone 2-2 to begin their season, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Their two losses both came to top 20 teams: Messiah and William Smith College.
“We cannot overlook any team we play,” Ritchlin said. “There’s no longer the high end and low end. There are a lot of teams that are just good.”
With such fierce opposition, the players know that they have to bring their A-game every time they step onto the field in order to be considered one of those top-notch teams. They believe in playing to the highest standard they can possibly play.
Ritchlin, as well as the rest of the team, has been happy with their work so far, though. The team continues to have optimistic thoughts for the rest of the regular season and beyond. Even though this is only the start of the season, the Knights are always looking toward the future for motivation. They set high standards now to make them all the more realistic every time they compete.
“We have high expectations for our players,” Ritchlin said. “We are working toward the SUNYAC championship game and then the NCAA Tournament. The players are putting the effort needed for that on a daily basis.”
Of course, the season is not without its difficulties.
“Year-to-year, different teams have different challenges and strengths,” Ritchlin said. “This year, we have a lot of young girls getting acclimated to our system.”
The Knights right now are playing well as a team, however, partly due to the younger players, as the underclassmen have been working well together in high-pressure positions.
Furthermore, offensively, 10 different players have contributed to the score sheet thus far, offering a good sign for continued success throughout the season.
The Knights’ next game is at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Thursday March 23 at 4 p.m. This will be their first game back after returning from Florida, so they strive to use the skills they honed in on in the sun to defeat RIT.