Women’s Lacrosse Preview of Season Opener at UMass Lowell

Marist women’s lacrosse is ready to get back to some normalcy. 

Last season, the Red Foxes finished with a record of 3-5. After a few big wins at the beginning of the season (including one over MAAC powerhouse Monmouth), to a 40-day pause into the MAAC tournament, Marist played as well as they could have, given the circumstances. They took eventual MAAC champions Fairfield to overtime in the quarterfinal before ultimately losing. 

The season before that,  the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They didn’t even get to see any MAAC competition. 

“We haven’t had a real season in two years,” senior midfielder and captain Melissa Bucher said. “We are so excited to face other people and travel and do the whole thing.”

MAAC play for the Red Foxes does not start until March 26 against Quinnipiac. Their season opens with UMASS Lowell today, Sunday, February 20. The non-conference competition includes teams such as Vermont, Army, and Ohio State.

“When I put together the schedule, it was something that I had in mind that I really wanted to challenge our team in non-conference play with very different types of defenses, offenses, and transitions,” head coach Jess Wilkinson said. 

The 2022 squad is going to look a little different from seasons past. Names like Delaney Galvin and Sam Mehalick, players who have had great impacts over the past few seasons, have graduated. The team this season is young, but “a young team is still a good team,” Bucher said of her teammates. 

Marist has three goalies to pick from to step into the crease this season, seniors Gaby Orlando and Chloe Monroe, as well as sophomore Miranda Lopes. Orlando came in once in relief of Galvin last semester, recording two saves. 

The defense will be led by senior captain Sheridan DeVito, who is aggressive on her opponents that enter the eight-meter, causes multiple turnovers, and wins ground ball battles. Sophomore starter Bella D’Gracia returns as well to join her, and juniors Jenna Bergin and Camryn Stoner are assets in the mix as well. 

Midfield has Bucher at the helm, who dominates on the ride and is a complete two-way player. Junior Shea Thompson returns as well as sophomores Delaney Hayes and Hannah Spease, three players with a lot of promise. 

Marist brings in a slew of freshmen to the midfield position. Look out for Jamie McPherson, Alana Tavares, Chloe Brickhead, and Juliana Santel. 

The Red Foxes look to sophomore Maddie Schrader as well as Santel and McPherson to win the draw and earn possession. 

All-MAAC preseason selection Kerri Gutenberger looks to improve on her spectacular sophomore campaign. The junior attacker recorded 19 goals in their shortened season but is an incredible dodger and good at moving the ball around. In addition to Gutenberger, junior captain Kelly Trotta is a big name to look out for, along with graduate students Alex Di Chiara and Jill Henson, a transfer from Scranton. 

“I think this year, we have a lot of secret weapons,” DeVito said. “We have a lot of people who are going to make an impact on this team.”

“I am very, very confident in our team right now,” Coach Wilkinson said, agreeing. “They are lacrosse players and athletes and they are by all means ready to compete. They are competitors at heart and I have a lot of confidence.”

Edited by Andrew Hard and Bridget Reilly

Photo Credit: Shannon Tierney

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