With the 2016 season underway, Messiah’s women’s lacrosse team holds high expectations for each team member as they hope to advance farther into the NCAA Championship than they ever have before.
Last year, the Falcons suffered a tough loss of 14-7 against Tufts University in the second round of the NCAA Championship. Team captains Ida Ehrhardt, Brooke Gamble and Claire Stikeleather hope the team learns from this experience and improves both mentally and physically as they progress into the current season.
“Last year we were left with a bad taste in our mouth after losing to Tufts and drove to work hard and put in the extra hours to be the best we could be,” Stikeleather says. “We believe in what this team can do and what we can accomplish as 27 players working together.”
“We have put in countless hours during our off-season, beginning the day after we lost to Tufts, in training our minds and bodies so that we can accomplish our goals for this year,” Gamble says. “Physically, we have been really focusing on our endurance, speed and stick skills. In our mental preparation, watching film has been an awesome tool that continues to help us develop a better sense and understanding of the game and where we can improve.”
According to Ehrhardt, Head Coach Heather Greer frequently reminds the team that “confidence and courage comes through practice and preparation”—a concept that the team has taken to heart more than ever before during this season.
“We put in countless hours developing our stick skills through wall ball, and training to be stronger and faster so that when we do step on the field, we know that we are ready to play at our best,” Ehrhardt says. “The hard work that we do in the off-season is what we rely on to prepare us for the challenges in-season.”
The three captains also agreed that relationships on and off the field have a great impact on the team’s dynamic and abilities: “Relationships are huge,” Gamble says. “We really think that intentionality with getting to know each other and our stories is extremely important. Being friends first and knowing that we have people who truly care about our well-being helps us trust each other on the field and creates a sense of loyalty.”
In addition to the help from coaches and teammates, the Falcons need the support of fans to make this their greatest season yet. Be sure to visit gomessiah.com for a full schedule of games and events. Go Falcons!
Alyssa Burd, Online Editor
Alyssa Burd is a sophomore journalism who hails from the beautiful land of Hess 1st.