Excitement is in the air as women’s lacrosse plays their first game of the new decade
By Jordan Fisch
With their season set to begin on Feb. 25 against Misericordia in Dallas, Pennsylvania, the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team is looking to build off their 8-8 season from last year and make an impressive run.
One key reason for the underwhelming record in 2019 was due to a loss of momentum. “Last year we started the season out strong but we lost momentum towards the end,” said Victoria Friedel ‘20. “This year we want to try to keep the momentum going throughout the entire season.”
Although their record was not where they had envisioned it, Jordan Segrave ‘20 sees the positives gained from last year that can be brought into the season ahead.
“I think we gained a lot of experience from last year and know exactly what we need to work on as a team to succeed this season,” said the senior netminder. “We are working hard in the offseason and taking this time to establish that trust that we had in each other in 2017,” she added.
Gabriella Crivelli ‘20 also found an upside to last year’s disappointing results. “When looking back on last year, although we didn’t finish the season as we would have hoped, there were many positive takeaways,” Crivelli said. “The first of these is accountability. When someone recognized that they needed to work on a particular skill set, they carved out the time in their busy schedule to practice on their own. This is a huge component of getting better and improving even when no one is watching. Secondly, many people stepped up in moments where injuries were abundant, and that just emphasizes the values of a true team.”
With the work they put in in fall ball and with practices beginning Feb. 1, the team is looking to gain momentum and string together some wins with the hopes of making their first Centennial Conference playoff appearance since 2017, when the Mules suffered a first-round exit against Franklin and Marshall.
Friedel and her teammates are eager to reapply these lessons in this upcoming campaign. However, since it is such a tough conference, doing so is going to be highly critical.
“Every year our conference is very competitive, so making it to the playoffs is always difficult,” said Friedel. “When we made the playoffs my freshman year, our team had a lot of veterans on the field who had been playing together for multiple years, and they had a lot of chemistry. After multiple key players graduated, we had big shoes to fill, and this year we’re hoping to recreate a similar team dynamic [to what] we had in 2017,” she explained.
However, as the 2020 season approaches, the loss of eight valuable veteran players will be felt strongly. Even so, Friedel’s positivity and confidence has not wavered one bit. “After losing eight seniors and some of our best players this year, we see this as an opportunity to start from scratch and develop a new dynamic,” she said.
Segrave also believes that this year’s team is more than ready to hold its own, even with the loss of veteran talent. “I think this year we are ready for the competition. We lost some key players all over the field, but I have seen all of our players step up to fill that role,” said Segrave.
“Even the freshmen are gaining the confidence they need to start playing right away. We were nervous at first with how the gaps were going to be filled, but many players have taken it upon themselves to step up and be what the team needs. We are always looking to improve from year to year, so we just hope to be better than last year and make it to the playoffs,” Segrave added.
For Crivelli, though, there is only one goal for this team. “My goal, and definitely the goal of many others, is to make it to the Centennial Conference playoffs. The team hasn’t made it there since my freshman season, and if we capitalize on the strengths of the team, it is not out of the question.”
With the Feb. 25 start date quickly approaching, the team can feel the excitement in the air. “We’re excited to just get back to playing again,” Friedel said. “Our team is very close, so we’re ready to just have fun and play lacrosse with our friends on Frank Marino Field. I can’t believe it’s already my last season, but the other seniors and I are ready to go out with a bang.”
Segrave could not agree more with that sentiment, adding, “I am excited to be on the field with my best friends again. Playing field hockey, I don’t get to see my lacrosse teammates in the fall as much, so I am ready to finish my athletic career out with these girls. This will be my eighth and final season as a Muhlenberg athlete, so it’s bittersweet in that aspect, but I’m ready to start competitions and leave it all out on the field,” Segrave reminisced.
This is Crivelli’s favorite time of year. “The season is quickly approaching, and that means I get to spend more time with many of my good friends,” she said.
The 2020 season looks to be an exciting one for this team, and they cannot wait to get on the field and show off their amazing talent. The squad’s journey to another Centennial Conference Championship kicks off in a non-conference matchup with the Misericordia Cougars on Feb. 25.