Although much of the spring 2019 season remains, Stevenson’s women’s lacrosse team has been striving to accomplish their goal of being Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) champions.
Since the Mustangs’ 14-12 win against Randolph Macon University on March 2, the team has played eight more games, seven of which were wins. With a current 8-3 overall standing as of April 9, this could end up being the Mustangs’ best season since their 16-2 record in 2013.
Much of this season’s success can be attributed to head coach Kathy Railey’s experience at the helm since the 2006 season. According to gomustangsports.com, Railey has received numerous coaching awards, including being named the MAC Commonwealth Coach of the Year in 2013.
Not only does Railey have a depth of lacrosse experience, but her team includes players who are both youthful and skilled. Six of the 12 starting players are freshmen, including rising stars Caroline Murphy, Hannah Huff and Kaitlyn Kozlowski.
In addition to the accomplishments of the younger members of the team, the more experienced players are also holding their own. Railey said that the depth of their team means that even players on the bench are essential to the team’s success.
According to Railey, her team embraces camaraderie before they even get on the field.
“I like to start practice with positivity,” said Railey. She has said that the team members are their own cheerleaders, and that they care deeply about the success and contributions of every player.
When specifically preparing for games, Railey uses game analysis—generally film—to find exploitable areas of the other team’s strategy through watching video. Defensive positioning, holes in the attacking plays and predictable ball movement from the opposing team can be broken down and understood through careful examination.
Sarah Roerty, a junior defender for the Mustangs, believes that this year’s team is more mentally tough than ever. She is most excited to play Messiah College to see if the team can win close games against good teams.
By diving deeper into the Mustangs’ 2019 statistics, the success becomes clear. According to gomustangsports.com, the Mustangs score on average 12.27 points per game, compared to the opposition, which only averages 10 points. Surprisingly, most of the Mustangs’ points occur within the first period.
Another strong aspect of the Mustangs’ play is free position shots, in which the Mustangs’ made 43 out of 90, compared to the oppositions’ 16 out of 57.
Although this season has started strong for the Mustangs, the most important games have yet to come. The Mustangs’ next game will be home on April 13 against Widener University at 1 p.m., and playoffs will begin on April 29.