Lehigh Mountain Hawks senior attacker Kellie Gough runs after picking up a ground ball during the game against Penn State on Saturday, February 17, 2018, at Ulrich Sports Complex. As a senior, Gough has been helping guide freshman during their first season as a Mountain Hawk. (Benjamin Wang/B&W Staff)

Women’s lacrosse guides its newcomers

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With a large amount of freshman players, the women’s lacrosse team’s veteran players have been taking on leadership positions to guide the newcomers.

“We have a pretty strong senior and junior class out on the field playing,” said senior attacker Kellie Gough. “With a bunch of returners, we should have a lot of chemistry going this year.”

Head coach Jill Redfern said she feels confident in the ability of her more experienced players to capitalize on multiple point games in regards to offensive production.

Over the off-season, the team spent significant time relearning the basics of its offensive and defensive sets in order to acclimate the freshman class to the heightened level of college play.

Freshmen Emma McGillis and Jenna Garden have been starting as defenders for the team so far this year. 

“(McGillis) really stands out,” Gough said. “She’s really stepped up. She’s played some really key roles in our defense that have been filled by upperclassmen in the past, and she’s really doing a good job with it.”

Redfern said Garden has showed a lot of potential with her strong athleticism and aggression on the field.

Captain and senior attacker Mary Carron said junior defender Alexandra Ladda and senior defender Olivia Kelly have been working to help the two freshmen defenders make the transition from high school to college play. 

Other veteran players, like junior midfielder Sondra Dickey and senior attacker Courtney Henig, have helped the team with communication skills.

Gough said the team has been working to improve its communication skills in order to influence smooth transitions between offense, midfield and defense on the field. Gough said the team has been struggling to keep everyone talking all the time, consequently making it tough to maintain synergy on the field. 

The team has been doing a lot of talking during drills and and holding each player accountable for what they do in the game or in practice.

Redfern said communication is something that the team can control, and it has improved the team’s chemistry.

The team is now moving away from the conditioning and has begun working on scouting and game planning.

“We’re always preparing for league play,” Redfern said. “That’s sort of our end goal, to be really competitive in the league. All of our non-league games still present challenges though.”

The team is looking forward to its schedule this season with match-ups against San Diego State and UC Davis as the team flies out to California during the upcoming spring break for games on March 10 and March 12 respectively.

“As a senior, this will be my first time the team will be flying in my four years,” Gough said. “It’s going to be nice and warm for spring break, and it’s going to be a little bit different of a game out there, so you have to adjust to that. But it should be a really great trip.”

Gough said the team is ranked third in the Patriot league for the past few years. She said she’s looking forward to having some big plays in their upcoming matches in order to get to second or first.

The Mountain Hawks are excited to play Navy after losing to the Midshipmen in the Patriot League semi-finals last year. Carron said it’s a game that the team always generates a lot of hype and anticipation for. The women will host Navy on March 30 at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

Carron said she feels confident about the team’s ability to be successful this season.

“Our greatest strength is our untapped potential,” Carron said. “We have a lot a lot of areas that we can be really good in.”

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