Stevenson University women’s lacrosse team hopes to contend to win the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), after a 10-4 loss in the semifinals last year to Messiah College.
However, 2019 was a bumpy start for the Mustangs, as they lost their first two games to No. 4-ranked Salisbury University (14-6) and No. 1 Gettysburg College (17-3). The team’s first win came on March 2 as the Mustangs beat Randolph Macon 14-12.
Head coach Kathy Railey has a total of 25 years of collegiate women’s lacrosse and field hockey coaching experience, and begins her 21st year as head women’s lacrosse coach in 2019 and her 15th at Stevenson, according to gomustangsports.com
In 14 seasons, Railey has totaled a career record of 179-114 and is among the NCAA’s winningest active coaches in Division III with a .611 winning percentage. She is 115-75 in 11 seasons with the Mustangs, according to gomustangsports.com
She emphasized the team’s depth in each position this year, noting that substitutions are beneficial in order to play strong for 60 minutes. Railey also said that the team’s chemistry is strong. This allows practice to run smoother and more efficiently.
Railey tries to make practice as fun as possible with lots of competitive games. She added that the players hold each other accountable and they always bring intensity to every practice.
Railey prepares for a challenging game by watching film, deciding which defense will be effective against the opposing team and emphasizing catching and throwing to be as accurate as possible, come game time.
Playing two top 5 teams in the country in the first two games every year will not change, said Railey.
Losing the first two games of the season may be tough for other teams to recover from, but Railey sees it as a learning opportunity. She said that the team has “no choice but to get better, faster.”
Junior captain Carly Bowes said that there are several qualities that come from each captain that makes the unit great as a whole: “dedication, trust, confidence, passion, and honesty.”
She added that she still gets butterflies before each game, but she overcomes them by taking time to mentally focus and calm herself. Bowes said she “removes surrounding environmental distractions and focuses on achieving the goal at hand (following the game plan and working as a team to win the game).”
Against Randolph Macon, Bowes had four goals in the win, her fourth career four-goal game, according to gomustangsports.com. Stevenson won the ground ball battle (23-13) despite losing draw controls 19-9.
The Mustangs’ next home game is March 12 against Montclair State University.