This semester, the Lehigh women’s lacrosse seniors are looking to continue developing team bonds, repeat the success they’ve seen in their earlier seasons and prepare for life after Lehigh.
Senior Katia Carnevale said much of her excitement for the season comes from her confidence in the future of the team.
“Looking at all the younger girls that have come onto the team, we have some really talented classes beneath our seniors,” Carnevale said. “We’re trying to build our younger girls’ confidence, and I think we’ve done a good job with that and having them realize their talent and potential.”
As the seniors step into their new leadership roles, senior Cassie Marte said one of their focuses is being role models on and off the field, as well as growing and enjoying their relationships within the team.
Looking back at her time at Lehigh, she said these relationships have played pivotal roles in defining her experience as a Mountain Hawk.
“The people here are so different than anywhere else,” Marte said. “I could tell from the start that the people on the team were so supportive and genuine. That’s what I am going to miss the most.”
Carnevale, Marte and senior Gabby Schneider agreed that their sophomore season will be the most memorable in their time at Lehigh.
Coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic, the women’s lacrosse team was only able to compete against Patriot League teams during the regular season, creating a unique and shorter schedule.
That year, the team made it to the finals of the Patriot League tournament. In the quarterfinals, they pulled off an overtime victory against Navy. The Mountain Hawks then took down Army 10-8 to punch a ticket to the championship game.
Despite falling 11-6 to Loyola in the finals, Carnevale said they still consider this tournament run to be the most meaningful moment in their careers.
At the time, the team was unable to play for about eight months following the cancellation of their last spring and fall season due to the pandemic.
Carnevale said being able to beat both Army and Navy twice that season was truly a remarkable feeling.
“Even though we didn’t come out on top, it was such a good experience,” Carnevale said. “It was the happiest losing weekend I’ve ever had. That season alone was super memorable, and we had a really special group of girls.”
Contemplating their next steps after graduation, the seniors hope to make a smooth transition from the life of a collegiate Division 1 athlete into a less physically demanding lifestyle.
Marte said she is looking forward to being able to put forth work and time into a new career.
“I’ve given 110% to lacrosse for 22 years, so I’m just really excited to flip the coin and start putting my energy into something else,” Marte said.
Another challenge facing the athletes following graduation is navigating how to exercise consistently.
Carnevale said she’s been a student-athlete for so long that she doesn’t remember what it’s like to not be working towards academic and athletic success so intensely.
“When you’re an athlete, growing up you’re so used to the physical activity,” Carnevale said. “It is something I’m definitely still going to implement in my day-to-day life because it helps me so much mentally and physically.”
Both Carnevale and Schneider said they plan to use their last year of eligibility and play a fifth year in the 2024 season.
The women’s lacrosse team is set to play many competitive games this season. One of which is the University of Pennsylvania, a top 25 program which the class has never competed against.
“We’ve been playing together and have known each other for so long, so we just want to go out and win the conference for us,” Schneider said. “That’d be a great way to cap off the experience we’ve had together at Lehigh.”
Entering the season, the team was ranked fourth in the Patriot League.
Carnevale said that while the team does not ignore the expectations placed on them in the preseason, they know they need to focus on themselves and their own expectations.
“When you’re not first, it just motivates you even more to become number one,” Carnevale said.
The women’s lacrosse team will kick off their season on Feb. 10 at the University of Delaware.
Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.
The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.