Junior defender Jenna Garden looks for the ball in a game last year. The women’s lacrosse season starts again on Feb. 20, 2021. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh women’s lacrosse hungry for upcoming season

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After a shortened 2020 season and a long off-season, the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team is looking forward to their season opener against Drexel on Feb. 20.

The Mountain Hawks were picked fifth in the preseason poll. Fifth-year midfielder Sondra Dickey was named to the preseason All-Patriot League team. 

Last season, Dickey led the team with 32 goals, 42 points and 14 caused turnovers. She is one of the team’s best players and will be relied on heavily throughout this upcoming season. 

This weekend’s game is highly anticipated among players, coaches and staff. Due to COVID-19, the amount of regulations placed on athletics has altered the way teams have been able to practice and function. 

“I am looking forward to game days,” said junior defender Jenna Garden. “There is no day like game day. You can’t replicate the feeling you get when the first whistle blows.”

Garden said she anticipates the atmosphere for their first game in 348 days is going to be surreal as the team is just grateful for the opportunity to play again. Once the buzzer hits 12 p.m. at Ulrich Sports Complex, there will be a sigh of relief for everyone. 

Sophomore attacker Katia Carnevale is also looking forward to her return to the field. 

“I’m most looking forward to simply getting back on the field with my teammates,” Carnevale said. “It’s been a long time coming, and I am so excited for game days.” 

With limited field time because all 23 sports are in action, the women’s lacrosse practice schedule looks different than normal. Sometimes the team has practice at 7 a.m. because that’s the only time they can get on the field.

Practices consist of stick work to start and then more game-like scenarios to end.       

All of the obstacles they have faced over the last year have made the team realize that it’s important to enjoy every second and to not take things for granted, Carnevale said.

Not only are the players looking forward to the season, but the coaches are too.

“We are excited to be back together practicing and feeling extremely motivated now that games are on the horizon,” said Sammy Cermack, associate head coach. 

Cermack said she is proud of the team’s effort and can’t wait to see them match up against Drexel University 

“I think we have a lot of really strong pieces that can fit together beautifully,” Cermack said. “No one player offers the same as another. We are hoping to be at our strongest when we are playing together as an entire unit.

With less than a week before their season debut, the Mountain Hawks are hitting the practice fields aiming to get the most out of the remaining few days.

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