Women’s lacrosse remains hopeful

The Stevenson University women’s lacrosse team ended their regular season with a record of 9-8 overall, 7-1 in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). With the MAC Commonwealth tournament coming up, the team hopes to advance to the NCAA tournament with a win in the conference.

Brady Heher fights for a goal. (Photo by Sabina Moran)

Brady Heher fights for a goal. (Photo by Sabina Moran)

The team has faced ranked programs throughout the season, including the number 3, 4, 5, and 6 nationally seeded teams. The difficult schedule that the women’s lacrosse team has played has prepared them for the next rounds of intense competition. The MAC semifinals against Lebanon Valley will be held on Wednesday, May 4 at 4 p.m., as Stevenson has secured the No. 2 seed in the first round. Messiah College is the No. 1 seed.

The Mustangs enter the tournament confidently, already having beaten Lebanon Valley 9-7 in April. Regardless of the previous victory, the team and coaching staff understand that no one is entitled to a win and that success is not guaranteed. Head coach Kathy Railey is aware of the challenge of beating a team twice and has created a team with a similar serious outlook. The seniors on the team have instilled the idea of devotion into the program, said Railey, adding, “We have a group of seniors who are not necessarily the most vocal leaders, but they lead by example through hard work.”

Although the team currently seems to be on the road to success, they have suffered more than their share of injuries this season. As of May 3, only 16 of the 26 players on the team are healthy, but a constantly changing lineup has allowed the team to become more versatile and well-rounded. Railey said, “It seems like we have a different lineup every game, which we do. We are hoping to head into the remainder of our season in a way in which we don’t have to deal with (more injuries).”

Five players on Stevenson’s team earned All-MAC Commonwealth honors, including senior Carli Bafford who made the First Team honors, according to a MAC conference announcement. Junior Olivia Monteiro and sophomore Jamie Bittner were named to the second team. Senior Shelby Walter and junior Brady Heher received an honorable mention.

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