This Wednesday, Feb. 23, the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team played the first game of their season versus Moravian College at Scotty Wood Stadium. This will be the first time since the 2019 season that the women will be playing a complete 16-game regular season; their 2020 season was canceled after one game due to COVID-19 and the 2021 was a shortened seven-game season.

Midfielder Madeline Dill ‘22 spoke about how playing a full season for the first time in three years is going to be very different for everyone on the team, especially as the seniors are the only ones who have experienced a full season in their college career. “I think the seniors will have to step up and lead the younger girls on the team in ways we had never had to. Because we are essentially starting this team from scratch due to COVID, the seniors are in the position of creating new traditions and expectations for the whole team.” 

However, unlike fall sports who had their season’s completely taken away last year, the team is in a good position as their juniors and sophomores do have experience playing collegiate lacrosse, despite it not being a full season last spring.

The 2021 season for the women’s lacrosse team was not successful, as they finished with an overall record of 1-6. Coming into this season, the team most certainly has higher hopes and expectations for how they plan to perform on the field. Head Coach Kristen Stuckel spoke about the hopes and goals for this season. “The team has put in many hours in the weight room, working on conditioning, bonding as a team and of course working on our stick work to be prepared! The players have also been tested with timed runs, game-like drills, situational play and even had refs come to a practice to be ready for a successful season. We have focused on knowing how to work hard until the end and encouraging each other at all times. The team is determined to stay in the moment and positive to play for the win. Playing, gritting and determined so they are ‘All Out, All Game’ [the team’s motto for the season]. This will help us have a winning season and qualify for the conference playoffs.”

To win games though, especially after a weak performance in 2021, there are many aspects of the game that the team needs to improve on. When talking about what the team needs to improve on to achieve a better record and hopefully contend for a championship this season, Stuckel said, “Last year we struggled with consistency. This was very difficult because many players had to quarantine because of COVID or being in close contact. Therefore it was tough to get into a flow on attack or defense or to know our roles when people were constantly missing. We are very fortunate to play in a highly competitive Div. III women’s lacrosse conference, and compete against teams that are consistently ranked in the top 20 nationally. Last year we played a very shortened season and the teams that did participate in the conference were mostly the top nationally ranked teams, which gave us an extra challenge. Our team has been determined and dedicated since the end of last season to put in the extra time to have a successful season!” 

From a player perspective, Dill also talked about what she and her teammates need to do better on the field to have a more successful season saying, “Our team as a whole needs to work on creating less turnovers for the opposing team to capitalize on. We have a tendency of panicking when our players have the ball, we need to work on keeping composure and having confidence in ourselves to do what we have been doing for years.”

The goals and expectations for the team are set high for this season.​​ Following the season opener at home versus Moravian, the Mules’ next game will be a week later, Mar. 2, at home versus Lycoming College. 

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