After coming off of strong seasons, both men’s and women’s lacrosse teams have high expectations heading into the 2020 season.
Women’s lacrosse gained seven first-years this season and have worked well with them and are ready to start the season.
The three seniors and three juniors have been working on transitioning the new players into the team.
“They are just soaking in everything that we throw at them, which makes it a lot easier to move forward and implement new players and new sets,” Stacey Florence, head coach for the women’s lacrosse team, said. “The leadership has been great and, so far, we’ve been doing really well.”
Adapting to the change of having so many new players to learn to bond with and play with is sometimes easier for some players.
Kathryn Walton, senior midfielder on the women’s lacrosse team, played lacrosse at Pickerington Central High School and played with two of the first-years in her senior year there. She also is an assistant coach at Pickerington Central and has been able to see her now teammates evolve as lacrosse players.
Last year, the women’s lacrosse team made it to the conference championship and lost with a score of 17-9 to Mount Union.
“Last year’s championship game definitely left a chip on our shoulder, so going forward we just want it so bad this year, especially for us as seniors we want to go out hard,” Brianna Rampi, senior attacker for the women’s lacrosse team, said.
The men’s lacrosse team had a devastating 10-9 loss to Ohio Northern in the semi-finals of the OAC Tournament, after having lost only their first game and going on a 15-game win streak. They have decided to move on from last year and focus on what they have to do this season.
“It’s a new year so we got to really just focus on us and not forget the past but just move forward with what we got,” Luke Wyatt, senior midfielder for the men’s lacrosse team, said.
Coming into this season, the men’s team has a lot of new talent that will be a good addition to the team’s dynamic and chemistry.
“We’re in that spot now where we really have a chance to leave an impact and really set the tone for the program for the next couple years,” CJ Hughes, senior attackman for the men’s lacrosse team, said. “We have a really good group of young guys that are going to be able to get that message and keep it going. So, I’m just really excited to keep building with them.”
The seniors worked right away when the school year started in the fall by getting the new first-years together with the team to start with bonding. They do many things together outside of practice by weightlifting, going to other sports games, and just hanging out in general.
“I think the team chemistry has been something that our guys, our men, have always worked on great since I’ve been here,” Dom Marzano, head coach for the men’s lacrosse team, said. “I don’t have to worry about the other stuff, me and the staff, so that’s really nice.”
Over the summer, Marzano was also a coach for the new Professional Lacrosse League (PLL). He was one of only 18 coaches in the PLL. The experience that he was able to gain from coaching he can bring back to the college game.
The experience was not only great for Marzano, but it allowed the players to watch more games and idolize the players. Many of the players would go watch the games and try to imitate the players and try to be more like the professionals they watch.
Wyatt and Hughes had both played in a collegiate summer box league along with many other players. Having had a rough season, the two, now seniors, still gained a lot of experience from the league. The summer league is more physical and faster paced which makes the college game seem slowed down and laid back.
Coming into this season the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are both ready to make a run for the ‘ship. The men’s team has an exhibition game Saturday, Feb. 8 against Ohio Wesleyan University. The women’s lacrosse team also has an exhibition game Saturday, Feb. 8 at home against Kenyon College at 1 p.m.