Women’s lacrosse team prepares for season with a new Head Coach

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The women’s lacrosse team huddles and talks during a recent practice. New Head Coach Emily Hammer said that the team members are mostly self-motivated because the loss in the State game last year made them more determined to succeed. (KARTHIK THADASINA / PHOTO)
The women’s lacrosse team huddles and talks during a recent practice. New Head Coach Emily Hammer said that the team members are mostly self-motivated because the loss in the State game last year made them more determined to succeed. (KARTHIK THADASINA / PHOTO)

As she walks to practice every day,  Sophie Kelner, women’s lacrosse team captain and senior, is more motivated than ever to work harder and focus on perfecting her skills.

This extra motivation comes from losing in the 2013 State Finals.

“I think that losing State last year left a sour taste in all of our mouths,” Kelner said.

The women’s lacrosse team has competed in the State championship for the past three years. In 2011 and 2012 the team captured the State title.  Last season, they were runners-up. This season, with the help of new Head Coach Emily Hammer, team members said their goal is to return to and win the State championship.

In terms of motivation, Hammer said that team members are mostly self-motivated, with the loss in State last year adding to their motivation.

“I think they remember everyday when they come to practice and they know they have to work hard,” Hammer said.

Maddie Engledow. team member and junior, said she agrees that the loss in State added to team’s motivation.

“I think a lot of us want it more than last year. Last year we really thought  ‘Oh we’re going to win, keep the streak going.’ But because we lost, we’re that much more motivated to get that title,” Engledow said.

However, Kelner said if every single team member works hard in practice and works hard as a team, she thinks they will have a successful season.

“If we work on our goals, I believe that we will get to the State championship and win a lot of games,” Kelner said.

Engledow also said that the team needs to work on achieving their goals.

“We’re a lot more focused in practice. We’re really getting things done and applying the skills we learned in practice to games and game situations, and hopefully that will improve the way we play,” Engledow said.

In order to help the team succeed, Hammer said she is trying to implement more structure into the program. Hammer said the team is focusing on having specific goals and repetition day in and day out.

“When you have structure everyday, it really lends itself to having a disciplined team. When you’re disciplined, it’s easier for them to have a bad day and still do really well, so that’s what we’re trying to implement all over the place,” Hammer said.

Sophie Kelner, women’s lacrosse team captain and senior, works hard during practice. Kelner said she believes Hammer’s coaching has already begun to make a difference for the women’s lacrosse team. (KARTHIK THADASINA / PHOTO)
Sophie Kelner, women’s lacrosse team captain and senior, works hard during practice. Kelner said she believes Hammer’s coaching has already begun to make a difference for the women’s lacrosse team. (KARTHIK THADASINA / PHOTO)

Kelner said that she believes Hammer’s coaching has already begun to make a difference for the women’s lacrosse team.

“We’re working on how to have a solid defense with every single person on the field, and how to have solid offensive skills. She sees it more as all-around; you need to be able to do everything as opposed to making sure an offensive player is good at offensive and a defensive player is good at defense,” Kelner said.

Engledow agreed, and said that Hammer’s coaching will help improve the team’s technique and strategy in games.

“She focuses a lot more on technicalities and we are already getting a lot more instruction on how to be better players,” Engledow said.

Due to the fact that Hammer played lacrosse in high school and college, Kelner said that she is a very well -versed coach.

“She really understands how we feel when we’re on the field. I feel like getting a different perspective from a coach that’s been there and played just like we have in a State tournament, and then going on to college lacrosse is beneficial for all of us,” Kelner said.

According to Engledow, although the members of the team definitely have other goals, winning the State title is still the team’s ultimate goal.

“I mean obviously being second in the state is not a bad thing,” Engledow said, “But we were so close and it’s definitely within reach.”

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