BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team is wrapping up its first week of practice in preparation for its season opener on Feb. 18 vs. Marist. The Mountain Hawks began practice Monday, focusing on fundamentals as a young squad continues to improve and progress. Despite losing the Patriot League’s All-Time leading scorer in Lauren Dykstra, Lehigh returns a plethora of talent led by three 2011 All-League honorees.
“The girls are really excited to be back,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “The weather that we’re having is really conducive to the start of practice. It’s not that cold and there’s no snow out there, so we’re trying to make as much progress as we can as quickly as we can.”
“It’s definitely nice to be back at practice,” said senior co-captain Leigh Ann Torcivia, who was named both All-League and All-Region last season. “Being a senior, I can’t believe it’s my last season; it makes everything more exciting. With this team especially, I think we have a lot of potential for the upcoming season.”
The Mountain Hawks began by reviewing what they learned in the fall before continuing to focus on fundamentals on the field. Getting off to a good start in practice is important in the long-term goals of the team.
“The first few days are really important,” said junior co-captain Julie McBrien. “It sets a standard for the rest of the season. We can’t come in playing poorly and expect to win these big games [down the road]. We need to come out from day one ready to go.”
“The focus the first few days are the basics,” said Torcivia. “First, we worked on attack then went over the plays and worked on our ride. Conditioning the first few weeks is important - getting everyone in shape to prepare for those big games.”
Lehigh returns All-Patriot League honorees Torcivia, senior Kelly Draper and sophomore Alexandra Fitzpatrick while juniors McBrien and Kenzie Dambach earned All-Patriot League status their freshman seasons. Along with the returnees, a talented freshman class consists of nine student-athletes who look to make pushes for significant playing time. It’s been a competitive preseason.
“We have a lot of healthy competition for playing time which I think is really exciting,” said associate head coach Kelley Putnam Necioglu. “We’ll be able to have some different looks and some different options with personnel along with different things we can do. Lots of people can contribute.”
The team is ultimately preparing for its opener against Marist on Feb. 18. For Torcivia, being a senior, each games takes added significance.
“As you get older, the games and the rivalries with the teams start to mean more,” she said. “It becomes more competitive as the years go on.”
Check back to Lehighsports.com leading to the season for continued updates on the Mountain Hawks.