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Canisius women's lacrosse 2017 season preview

The Canisius women’s lacrosse team has a goal heading into the 2017 season, to take the program to the next level. After winning five MAAC Championships in the last six seasons, the Griffs feel this is their time to not only remain on top in MAAC play, but to be successful when the NCAA Tournament begins in May.

The team is coming off of an impressive season that saw the team go 8-0 in MAAC play, while having one of the top players in the country in MAAC Midfeilder of the Year and All-American Erica Evans.

“We’ve set similar goals for a few seasons and now is the time to not only meet them but exceed them,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “Our goal is to not only win a MAAC Championship, but advance in the tournament and beat ranked teams. The MAAC Championship is a great achievement, but we want more. We’re excited for the chance to challenge our program and our players”

The Golden Griffins are one of only three teams in the nation that have made the tournament five of the last six years, and with a schedule filled with ranked opponents early on, the team fills it will have the experience needed for success.

“Playing a tough schedule to begin the year prepares us well for MAAC play, but can also prepare us for the tournament if we get to that point,” noted Teeter. “You’re one team at the beginning of the season, hopefully by the end you’ll become a new team, a better team. Challenging our girls early is measuring stick of where we’re at and where we want to be. It will challenge our girls and give them a chance to succeed.”

Early on the Griffs will play three top ten teams from a year ago, beginning Monday at Northwestern. The Blue and Gold will also battle Syracuse on Feb. 18 and North Carolina on Mar. 5 before entering MAAC play.

North Carolina enters the season as the reigning National Champion, while Syrcause made it to last year’s Final Four and Northwestern was one of the final 16 team’s standing in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

“Playing a powerhouse like Northwestern, will be a great experience and we’ll throw everything we have at them,” said Teeter. “We play the defending national champion in North Carolina, and until someone beats them they’re the best. It will be a learning experience; we hope to get a lot out of them. We’ll go in confident and hope to be a better team when we come out of those games.”

An experienced roster, along with a strong group of underclassmen, has Teeter excited for the depth at every position.  

“The number of starters we have returning is phenomenal. We have depth on this team that we haven’t had in the past. There are key individuals that we’ve lost, but we’ll use several players that have played in this system to fill that void. Our freshman will also make us better, a number of them will play significant minutes at the beginning of the year.”

“The girls want to take the next step, their sacrificing. We have the personnel, there are very few holes in our program, and the sky is the limit.”

Head Coach Scott Teeter’s Preview:

Attack


“We’re going to rely on our big four. Our quarterback is Jourdan Roemer. She’s going to distribute the ball, work behind the net with Lauren Smolensky, that’s a really good one-two punch. I don’t know if there’s a better one-two punch in our conference. Jourdan had an outstanding rookie year. She came in, had to feel her way, then hit her stride midway through the year turning a lot of heads.

Then we have two big shooters in Tessa Chad and Allie Stewart who love to score. They’ve been playing together for a year now. They know each other’s tendencies and strengths and are just a little more in sync. Rena Brown and Emma Mryglod will add some depth and have both elevated their game since the fall, so we have some depth there that we haven’t had in the past.”

Midfield


“We have the best player in the conference in Evans and one top players in the nation. The position runs through Erica, but she has great players around her.

Ashley Bull coming back for a fifth year will give us great leadership and great experience. She really knows how to control a game and will take some pressure off of Erica. Brenna Shanahan is a great team player. Whatever role is given to her she goes out and competes at it. We’re looking for a more expanded role out of her this year, not just being a defensive player. We’ll look for her to score some goals to give her teammates a breather with a faster paced game.

We’re bringing in Jen Reininger from Syracuse and looking to give her a fresh start. She’s really finding her game and is gaining confidence giving us another threat. Also coming in as a transfer is Clarissa Perry who has a great resume and is working her way back from an injury. We have two freshmen in Bryar Cummings and Rachel Ryan that we are expecting big things from, we can count on them for some secondary scoring and logging some good minutes for us.”

Defense


“Nicole Nelson is our leader on defense, but Kayla O’Connell and Jane Guy have logged a lot of minutes for us in the past, know our systems and they can limit their mistakes and make plays.

We have girls that have leadership that may have been role players a year ago and they want to take the next step. They are competing for jobs and pushing each other to be the best they can be. I look to seniors like Ashley Heisler and Shannon Pelitera to step up and play valuable minutes for us. Sam Bianchi as well, she is a great team player that is a valuable part of our team.

Carley Thomas and Riley Lucarelli are both competitors, they come from very good programs and can come in and log some minutes for us. They’ll both get that chance early on.”

Goalkeeper 


“Our team believes that Rebecca VanLaeken is the best goalie in the MAAC. She showed what she can do last year, but can expand on that. She knows our defense, she’s our communicator. We’re really looking for her to make the next step and propel our team where we want to go. Ellen Newton gives us great depth in there, if we have to make a switch we can, and she pushes Rebecca to be better.”

Freshmen


“The freshman class is very confident. They know they can play, they have a lot to learn, but there a very confident group. This class will push our starters and upperclassmen to new levels and will compete for playing time right away.”

Gameday Information


The Griffs meeting against Northwestern will be played Monday at 2 p.m. ET from Martin Stadium in Evanston, Ill. Follow @CanisiusWLAX during the game for live updates.

from GoGriffs.com via IFTTT





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