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Women’s lacrosse has sights set
After a season of making their best conference mark and achieving their second most wins in program history, what else could the women’s lacrosse team possibly want? An NEC Championship might do the trick.
To prepare for this quest, the girls are spending the fall practicing five times a week and participating in several tournaments. Their fall training “is probably more competitive to some extent, we do a lot of learning in the fall,” said Head Coach Stephy Samaras.
Last year the team ended with a record of eight wins and eight losses. The Bobcats had a four game winning streak in March. The NEC honored two players last year at the end of the season, naming a Bobcat to the First and Second Teams All-NEC, respectively.
This year brings a lot of changes in the schedule.
“Our schedule is beefed up as far as competition out of season,” said Coach Samaras.
They will be playing several teams this fall that they have never played before that have top lacrosse programs. Sunday, they travel to Hofstra University, whose women’s team is in the top 25. They will be playing Harvard University for the first time this year. And they will be ending their fall season at the University of Delaware, where they might also meet up with Bucknell and Drexel.
Spring will also be challenging for them. They will also be going to the University of Maryland for spring break this year. Maryland has won seven championships in as many years. The Bobcats will still be playing the University of Connecticut whose team ranks in the top 20.
This year University Maryland-Baltimore County moved to a different conference, which will make the competition in the NEC conference fiercer, with less teams vying to win the top spot. But if the team is able to build off of last season, Coach Samaras thinks they will have an easier time of getting to the Championships and bringing home a win.
The team has seven new players, six of whom were recruited. The six recruits all come from the state of Maryland. Four played for the Chesapeake Club lacrosse program, which is well known for their top program.
Coach Samaras said, “You know their commitment to the sport is ten fold; their commitment level is already there.” The seventh player is a walk-on freshman who comes from Branford, Connecticut.
This year brings only one returning senior, Annie Paquette, who will co-captain the team with junior Jen Belk. Paquette was a walk-on her freshman year; she has gone on to become an important asset to the team. Last year, she was named Second-Team All-NEC by the Northeast Conference and also came very close to setting a single-season assist record.
“She’s determined to graduate with a NEC Championship,” said Coach Samaras.
“At this point, the Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse program is the strongest it has ever been in program history. Outside of our conference we are playing top division one teams that will help us become stronger. Even though we are a young team we have great leadership from our upperclassmen and some very talented sophomores and freshman. This team has what it takes in every aspect to win the NEC conference,” said Paquette.
Samaras’ philosophy blends fun and hard work.
“One of our premises is having fun, the more fun you have; the more you’re going to win. We have a lot of fun and we work hard,” said Samaras.
With their level of commitment and their combination of working hard and having a good time, it is sure to lead to another year of making program history and maybe bringing home the NEC Championship while they are at it.