Tuesday, February 27, 2018

SEASON PREVIEW: Women's Lacrosse Excited to Start 2018 Campaign

Women's Lacrosse
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University women's lacrosse team is ready to roll in their 2018 season under fourth-year head coach Shannon Hertz.

The Huskies finished seventh last season with a 9-7 overall record and a 6-6 mark in the PSAC, missing the conference tournament last season by one game. The team also ranked seventh in the conference with 170 total goals allowed last season.

Hertz spoke about how keeping everyone together and maintaining high energy is one of their main goals for this season.

"Some of our goals are to make sure we keep our energy high all season and come out strong," said Hertz. "We always want to win the first draw, score the first three goals, that is what we've been preaching," said Hertz.

Bloomsburg was picked fifth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Coaches Poll back on Feb. 9.

"Rankings are just a starting point, we are pleased with where we are," said Hertz. "We know we have to earn that spot to keep moving up, and that it is about where you finish not where you start," said Hertz.

Hertz described her roster as a young team with good amount of experience. She also touched on how her returners have been an integral part of the season success.

"They know my expectations, my style of play, and they are buying into it," said Hertz.

Hertz also stated that the team may expect a lot from its big freshman class, but also that the younger players have room to grow and learn from the returners.

"Sometimes with being a young team, you have a new excitement. It's new, it's fresh, and I expect our freshmen to contribute a lot on defense, in the midfield and on the attack," said Hertz.

Hertz touched on what it has been like to see her freshman group merge with her group of returners.

"The team is in a really good place, and it is our goal to stay there," said Hertz. "Knowing that we are going to have ups and downs, the most important thing is keeping everything positive in the locker room."

Hertz circled back to expectations amongst both returners and freshman, noting that the expectations get a little bit tighter for returners as the years go by.

"By your senior year, you know the expectations and you don't get as much wiggle room for those silly mistakes," said Hertz.

Bloomsburg returns one all-conference selection from a year ago in sophomore goalkeeper Angela DiPasquale (Paramus, N.J./Paramus), who was voted to the All-PSAC third team as a freshman. She posted a 9-7 record and started all 16 games and played to a 10.60 goals against average (GAA) as well as a .455 save percentage. She played five games totaling at least 10 saves last season and made a career-high 15 saves in a win at Seton Hill back on April 7. Her 8.88 saves per game was fourth in the conference, while her .455 save percentage was seventh and her 10.60 GAA was eighth in the league.

DiPasquale, like her freshman season a year ago is the only goalkeeper on the Huskies roster. Hertz spoke about the management of only one goalie over the stretch of a rigorous season.

"She has the right attitude and she is still super competitive," said Hertz of her sophomore goalkeeper. "She is not satisfied because she is the only goalie."

Hertz mentioned that should a situation arise; the team is prepared to back DiPasquale up.

"We have someone who has offered to step in cage if that should have to happen," said Hertz. "I think that our team is really great at adapting to whatever comes our way."

The regular season begins on Mar. 1 with a road trip to Wilmington (Del.) before the Huskies head to Jefferson on Saturday (Mar. 3). Mar. 9 is the home opener when the Huskies welcome Saint Anslem, before they travel to Roberts Wesleyan on Mar. 14. Mar. 17 marks the beginning of conference play with a home game against Mercyhurst before Shippensburg comes to town on Mar. 20. The Huskies will take a short two-game road trip to Millersville (Mar. 25) and Seton Hill (Mar. 28), before hosting Edinboro on Mar. 31. April begins with road games at Kutztown (Apr. 3) and at Shepherd (Apr. 5), before a home game against Lock Haven on Apr. 11. BU will play another two road games at Slippery Rock (Apr. 14) and West Chester (Apr. 17), before rounding out their home slate with games against IUP (Apr. 21) and East Stroudsburg (Apr. 25). The conclusion of the regular season is at Gannon on Apr. 28, with the PSAC quarterfinals taking place on May 1.

"We need to show up to play every day because our conference is tough," said Hertz. "There is not one team you can overlook. The second you do, you are putting a loss on your schedule."

Assistant coach Patrice Coleman also chimed in that she was excited for the season to start as a former player for the Huskies.

"This is my last season with the team and I have seen their growth over the past three years" said Coleman. "I believe they will do big things this season."

The opening draw for the game at Wilmington (Del.) is set for 4:00 p.m.

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