Today: Jun 25, 2024

Lacrosse looks to improve this year

ANDREW ANASTASIOStaff Writer

Beginning the year 100 wins below a 500 winning percentage, the Owls women’s lacrosse team opened their season Tuesday night.

From 2002-’11 the Owls have posted an overall record of 15-115. Despite the large number of losses, head coach Kelley Frassinelli said that her team doesn’t focus on the past; instead they remain optimistic of what is ahead of them going down the road.

“We’re not looking at what the record was,” said Frassinelli. “We are looking at what we want the record to be, and that’s the focus of the players right now. They are focusing what the team does not want to do this year. That’s where they’re going right now. They’re not looking back at what was; instead we are trying to move forward.”

Frassinelli began coaching the Owls in 2002. Since then, the team hasn’t accumulated more than three wins in a single season. In fact, the team hasn’t won a game since 2009. Despite a winless drought the past two years, Frassinelli said the team’s morality has not faltered.

“It’s constant pushing,” said Frassinelli. “You don’t give up, you don’t let down, and you don’t say ‘you can’t do this’ because we can. It’s just a matter of having those quality kids, with quality skill, and a quality work ethic. I think that this is the first year we have that all-around.”

The Owls are facing another issue. Before the start of the season, Sabrina Sichel, the intended goalie for the Owls this season, was declared ineligible by the NCAA. The central question—should Frassinelli put a random player in goal—remained unanswered. Without a back-up goalie on the roster, junior Lynette Martinez, has filled the vacant position with only minimal experience in goal.

Frassinelli said that what makes the goalie situation more unfortunate is that the team had an extra one, but the player decided not to return to the team.

“We had a goalkeeper here last year who played with us all through the fall and came back this year and decided she wasn’t going to play,” said Frassinelli. “We turned to recruiting and looked at another goalkeeper who exhausted her NCAA eligibility. It was a little disappointing coming back the first day of school and to see that our keeper who has been with us for two years refused to continue playing.”

Entering the 2012 season, the captains for this year are senior Elaina Heiple and junior Jessica Shaw. Heiple has been with the team for the past four years. She said that the team four years ago was handled differently as opposed to right now.

“I think a lot has changed,” said Heiple. “I’ve won only one game during my time at Southern. I think there are more progressive changes, more recruiting and better recruiting. And with more freshmen coming in, we’re trying to improve and get better.”

Last season, the Owls ranked last in goals scored with a total of 68 in 14 games played. They also ranked last in assists per game at a total of 12, which averaged to less than one assist per game. Even in points scored per game, the Owls were last in the NE-10 Conference. They totaled 80 points, at an average of 6 points per game. Heiple said if the team intends on improving then they need to work more as a team.

“I think we have to learn how to play better together,” said Heiple.

“We need to make the connections with the younger players so that we can all mesh on the field.”

Heiple’s mission was to play harder, work on teamwork and to win games at whatever cost. Heiple led the team last year in almost every major statistical category. She and fellow co-captain Shaw accounted for 40 of the team’s 68 total goals scored. Shaw said she remains optimistic about this season despite her search for a victory: something she has not endured in her three seasons with the team.

“I want to win some games,” said Shaw. “I have never won a game here at Southern, and this is going to be my third year. I think we are going to do decent this year and win a few games.”

When the 2012 season is finished, the Owls are losing Heiple and fellow senior Jennifer Langlois. Frassinelli said that in recruiting she’s looking for a particular position and a player who fits the description.

“Right now for me, I want the mid-fielder,” said Frassinelli. “The kid who can make the run, and who can play both ends of the field with no problem. It’s a matter of finding the kids who are inquiring and whom we see throughout the summer and in fall-ball. There’s even a lot going on indoors with tournaments, so there are a lot of opportunities to scout kids, and that is what we are doing. We are looking for that overall kid. Not just the player but the character as well.”

Frassinelli was to happy have several outlets to recruit in. The Owls, who are currently 0-1 this season, will play their home games at Jess Dow Field on campus.

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