New assistant coach added to women’s lacrosse team
Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer
Betsy Vendel has accepted the coaching position of assistant coach to Southern Connecticut’s women’s lacrosse team.
Head coach, Maureen Spellman, announced the hiring of Vendel last week who will be joining Caitlin White as assistants.
Vendel, a former lacrosse player at Central Connecticut State University, joins the Owls after spending this past season coaching the United States Coast Guard Academy. She has additional experience coaching the Nor’easter lacrosse program and at her former high school in Newtown, Conn.
At Central Connecticut, Vendel managed to be a three-time All-Conference selection, and the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman. She was also a Gail Rutz winner at CCSU, an award held annually for the school’s top male and female athlete.
Coach Vendel is no stranger with Coach Spellman as they have worked together the past few years club coaching lacrosse, and praises both White and Spellman for uplifting the lacrosse program at Southern.
“I’m excited and eager to get this season started in order to learn more strategies and techniques from the staff,” said Vendel. “They [Spellman and White] have elevated the program since they’ve been here. I can only hope that I can help to develop the team and continue the growth that they started at Southern.”
As Vendel waits upon the commencement of lacrosse season, her first initiative as coach is to help the offensive players improve their game, as she too was an attacking- minded player from her time at CCSU.
“As the attacking coach I will be working to see what our offensive strengths are and implementing that into our game plan,” Vendel said. “I want to create a very versatile attack and get the girls really thinking about their movements on offense.”
It was an attacking coach that Spellman was looking for. Spellman noted that her decorated career at Central is going to bring more knowledge and experience to the team.
“Right from the start I knew this was a perfect fit,” Spellman said. “The team loves her personality, I love her organizational skills and she has a lot of great ideas.”
“It’s important for me to find someone who won’t agree with everything I say and challenge me with better ideas. I know that our cohesion will directly impact the entire team for the better.”
As for the players, Kennedy Sherman, a junior on the women’s lacrosse team, agreed with Spellman and said that bringing in Coach Vendel will be a great asset to the team. She added that with the hiring of Vendel the team is a capable of reaching newer heights than last year.
Sherman, a business management major, said Vendel’s experience playing in Division I and coaching Division III, gives her the knowledge of knowing how other divisions are run.
“Coach Vendel brings a new perspective to our team,” Sherman said. “In our previous seasons we have struggled with finishing in high pressure situations. Many of our games ended with losses of one or two goals. It was frustrating but I feel that Coach Vendel can improve our offense in those types of situations.”
Before the season commences, Coach Spellman said their focus is on setting up their offense and defense while still maintaining their fitness in the off-season.
In addition, the women’s lacrosse program is still looking to bounce back from last season’s 3-14 record, and with the new addition in Vendel, the lacrosse program looks to put last year’s woes behind them and focus on the new season ahead of them.
Photo Credit: southernowls