Women’s lacrosse team has high hopes for 2016 season
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
The Southern women’s lacrosse team has high hopes going into the 2016 season after a frustrating 2015 campaign.
The lady Owls had some excruciating losses last season, losing seven games by three goals or less that ultimately led to a 3-14 record.
Maureen Spellman, the head coach for women’s lacrosse, is entering her third year on the job. Spellman believes that this year’s team is better-equipped talent wise than last years.
“We definitely have the most talent this year than we’ve probably ever had,” said Spellman. “That goes for defense, midfield, and attack. Across the board we definitely have more talent.”
Some of that talent that Spellman is talking about is their leading goal scorer from last year, Emma Farrel.
Farrel scored 41 goals last year, which was 10 more goals than the second leading goal scorer on the team. Farrel is now entering her sophomore season and has a better feeling about this year than last.
“I think last year was really just a rebuilding season,” said Farrel. “It was rough and we all knew it was going to be a little rough coming in. I think this year our freshmen look really good and a lot of us are really excited about this season.”
The lacrosse team still fields a young team as they only have three seniors on the roster. Spellman recognizes that she has a young team and said that she is really looking to her sophomore class to score the bulk of the goals for the team this season.
One of those sophomores is Carolynn Keal, who was second on the team in goals last year with 31. Keal and Farrel developed a good rapport long before they arrived at Southern as they played on the same club team before playing at the college level.
Keal believes the chemistry that she had with Farrel before Southern, help them on the field.
“Emma and I definitely connect on the field,” said Keal. “With Emma we can just make one look and know what one another is going to do. It’s nice to know what the other is thinking and makes it easier to work together.”
Farrel and Keal both had successful freshman seasons, but they are going to need a lot of help to improve on the 3-14 record in 2015. Spellman is optimistic that they can due to a strong recruiting class this year.
“This is a pretty heavily recruited freshmen class,” said Spellman. “I think you can expect a lot from freshmen Brianna Grande on defense. On offense I think you can expect a lot from Sam Cozzolino, she’s a strong lefty and brings a lot of skill.”
Just like last year, the freshman will have to play a big role on the team. The difference this year is that a solid foundation of sophomores has been built to help better transition the freshman into the college level.
One of the main points of emphasis that Spellman, Farrel and Keal have going into 2016 season, is to perform better in close games. Spellman knows winning those close games can change a season from bad to good.
“We’ve focused on those close games that we’ve lost by a small margin,” said Spellman. “We want to turn those into wins this year and if that’s the case, then we’re going to have a nice look at postseason action.”
The lacrosse team played their first game of the season this past Saturday, winning 10-9 in overtime against Merrimack College. A goal by sophomore Nicole Healey with 43 seconds left, opened the lacrosse team’s season with a victory.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications