With Cabrini finishing last year with their 15th Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) championship, the Blue and White have the same goal in mind this season. With a new roster, but many familiar faces from last year’s team, the Cavaliers will look to establish chemistry quickly and get right back to where they left off last year. One constant of the team has been head coach Jacqueline Neary, who is stepping into her 21st season as head coach for Cabrini’s women’s lacrosse team.
“It’s a new year and we need to work even harder than last year. Every new season brings new challenges and we need to enjoy the grind and keep improving,” Neary said.
Cabrini was able to dominate the CSAC’s last season, going 9-0 on the season in conference play. The Blue and White only lost twice playing at Edith Robb Dixon Field, finishing with a 9-2 record at home. They finished first in CSAC conference standings, and defeated Neumann University in the championship game, with a score of 18-10. The team is returning its three top scorers from 2016 and all are seniors. Team leader in points Sasha Wozniak, Jess Bruening and Allie Vallen are all looking to come back strong for their final season.
“A nice positive from last year is we have a pretty decent amount of returning players. Some things we need to improve on is reducing our turnovers and increasing our opponents, its makes the game a lot easier! Every season brings new personnel, so hopefully this year’s new players can contribute to this 2017 season. And every season you miss the previous seasons seniors,” Neary said.
“I think we have some returning seniors like Sasha Wozniak, Jess Breuning, Allie Vallen & Megan Barlow to name just a few. Also, we have high hopes for a number of new players to the program.”
“Last season we had a fairly experienced team with few seniors. Coming into this year, only losing one or two starters from last season, we have a very strong team with a lot of experience,” junior midfielder/defense Gabby Lee said. “Team chemistry is always an important aspect when it comes to playing together and I think that’s one of much strength that our team has this year. Since last season, I think the two things we need to work one are just going full force when we run the ball down the field and fighting for every lose ball whether it’s on the ground or in the air. If we can bring those actions to each game then we’ll give a good fight to all the higher ranked teams we face.”
“This season we have two transfer players that are going to bring a great change to our team. They’re both very skilled and bring a different style of play. I can already see that our returning players are adjusting to how they play and are able to work with them to create some great plays on the field,” Lee said.
Cabrini is looking to rebound from their last played game, a loss to Salisbury University, 15-1 in their opening NCAA tournament game. The Cavs come into the season with goal of improving against out-of-conference games.
“Even though we lost in the 2nd around of NCAA, it was just an accomplishment to get there,” senior attacker Jen Robinson said. “So getting that far made us more confident in our abilities this year. Last year it was great winning our conference and that is what we strive to do each year. But this year we would love to win more out of conference game cause it would help us in the NCAA tournament.”
With higher expectations comes even harder work. Robinson is all in.
“For me the changes I am making is that I am working extra hard to secure a starting position.”