The lacrosse team, facing a year of adjustments and high expectations, expects big things from its new coach, Bonnie Rosen, who takes over a team that is rich with veteran talent and leadership.
The Owls return six seniors and seven juniors, including Casey Cech and Allison Frengs, who each were named to the All-Atlantic Ten Conference first team last season.
“It is the best situation to come into,” the first-year coach said. “It’s the best situation to come into with all these upperclassmen showing leadership.”
Rosen said she realizes she has walked into a special situation, with many veterans set to lead the way. While Rosen has had to adjust to coaching new faces after spending 10 years at Connecticut, the Owls have had to adjust to their new coach as well.
“Between this year and last year, the coaches have very different styles,” said Cech, a senior midfielder. “We have done some different things this year, such as a zone defense, which we never would have done in the past.”
While the team has adjusted to the style of its coach, several Owls said they will not accept any type of failure this year.
“We expect to win the A-10,” senior defenseman Jessica Chadwin said. “We are on a mission.”
“We want to enjoy the season, have fun and make it a memorable one,” said Frengs, a senior midfielder.
They aren’t the only ones with high expectations. A-10 coaches recently picked the Owls to finish in a second-place tie with Duquesne. One of the Owls’ main strengths will be their ability to adapt in practice and change their game plan to adjust to their opponents, Rosen said.
“We are a very versatile team,” Rosen said. “We can play many different styles of the game and we are very athletic, which will help us change our game plan if needed.”
While their versatility is a huge strength, the team is not flawless.
“We want to get better, not just every game, but every single day we want to get better,” the coach said. “We need to get fundamentally better on defense and refine all of our skills until we get to where we need to be.”
Rosen said the fact that the team is cohesive will make the Owls a special team.
“Everyone brings something to the team,” Rosen said. “The entire team is an asset to have, and in this day and age, that is very rare.”
The Owls’ season opens against Virginia Sunday. The game, set to be played at Geasey Field, begins at 1 p.m.
Kenny Walter can be reached at email@example.com.