Coming off of a winning record of 10-9 last season, Marist Women’s Lacrosse has high hopes for the season ahead, looking to win their first MAAC championship since 2010.
After a winning season with a conference record of 5-3, the Red Foxes fell short in the second round of the MAAC tournament with an 8-15 loss to Fairfield University. Having not won the title for nearly a decade, the determination is there this season.
Head coach Jessica Wilkinson ’08 is hopeful for building a roster with depth. “Our expectations come from building our underclassmen and making sure that our upperclassmen are leaving them in the way that we want with the culture we’ve been trying to build,” Wilkinson said.
With a young team of 11 freshmen and talented upperclassmen, Women’s Lacrosse beat Army 14-11 in the season opener in West Point, NY. The returning talent includes junior midfielder Hailey Wagner, who broke her personal single game draws record, with 21 wins in the first round of the MAAC Championship last season. After graduating, starting goalie and MAAC Goalie of the Year Abigail Witczak left a void. Freshman Delaney Galvin stepped up for the season opener versus West Point finishing her first career start with 14 saves and a .560 save percentage.
“We have a lot more depth. Anything we fell short with last year, we are trying to reevaluate and make sure we hit those marks,” said Wilkinson.
Starting out slow against West Point, Marist finished the first half down 6-7. Fortunately, the Red Foxes were able to come back, scoring eight goals to West Point’s four in the second half. Senior attack Lauren Mazza finished the game with a hat trick.
“This come-from-behind win says a lot about the character and determination of the team this season,” said sophomore defenseman Emma Lemay. “We look to be a full 60-minute team, rather than a 30-minute team.”
With one win already under their belt, the Women’s Lacrosse schedule includes a meeting with Canisius College, the reigning MAAC champions on their home turf in Buffalo on April 11.
With depth in their roster this season, many players go into the season with the same goal.
“[My goals are to] hopefully win a MAAC Championship,” said senior attack Morgan Jaycox. “It’s my senior year so it’s been a long time coming. We’ve put in a lot of hard work over the past couple years so we hope to see that pay off.”
Attack Samantha Mehalick is looking toward similar goals in her sophomore season.
“Right now, we’re 1-0 so I’m expecting to come out every game and keep that undefeated score. We’re looking to win a MAAC Championship this year,” said Mehalick.
With old and new talent alike, the 2018 Women’s Lacrosse team is putting last season behind them and focusing on their goals ahead. Marist faces the University of Vermont for their home opener this Saturday at Tenney Stadium at 1 p.m. with a championship in mind.