It may be Fall, but the Boston University women’s lacrosse team is wasting no time getting back to work.
The team has been training for the past few weeks in preparation for their exhibition season in the Fall semester and the official season beginning in the spring. The Terriers have had a great deal of success in the past few years. For proof, look no further than the fact that they hold the past six America East Championships. It will not be an easy season for BU, as the team lost eight key athletes from the 2010 roster. However, BU coach Liz Robertshaw is confident the Terriers are up to the challenge that awaits them.
“We have a slim bench, but the players did great [this weekend]. Honestly, the freshmen did a great job,” Robertshaw said.
If the team is going to replicate its recent success, those freshmen are going to have to step up. Nevertheless, Robertshaw is excited about her young squad. Freshman Christina Sheridan will be protecting the net as the new goaltender. The coaching staff has been extremely impressed with her, along with seven other freshmen who have joined the team.
Robertshaw used this past weekend to test both the freshmen and the upperclassmen of the team and see where they were as a unit. With a game on Saturday against University of Louisville and three games Sunday at the Harvard University Fall Tournament, the Terriers had a busy slate of games over the two days.
“This is our hardest fall season,” Robertshaw said. “I want to test them.”
The schedule does not get any easier from here. Next weekend the Terriers will play the United States national team with a game against national runner-up Northwestern University coming up the following Saturday.
The score of the games may not be important, but the coaching staff is still closely examining how the team performs. The scores from Sunday’s games against the University of New Hampshire, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Boston College were not as vital as the feedback the team got from the exhibitions. Even Robertshaw said she couldn’t honestly recall the scores of the contests.
The greatest obstacle the team faces is a laundry list of nagging injuries. Many have carried over from summer training, and most of these injuries are to upperclassmen.
Two five-year seniors, attack Erica Baumgartner and defender Courtney Burd, are back on the roster after season-edning injuries last season. Burd suffered an ACL injury.
Even with a depleted team, other players are standing out more than ever. For example, junior attack Molly Swain scored at least two goals in each game last weekend and led the team in goals from the attack position.
Robertshaw understands this spring season will not be easy, but she is quickly learning her team is willing to put in the work to be even better this year. The entire staff was incredibly impressed with the up-field tempo of the team.
“[They have to] grow together,” Robertshaw said.
The team will get to see if all of the hard work will truly pay dividends come the spring season starting in February.