Two years ago, Marquette announced the additions of both men’s and women’s lacrosse programs to the athletic department. The women’s lacrosse team has been working non-stop ever since to build its program. This weekend, the team’s hard work will be on display as it begin its inaugural campaign.
For players and coaches, it’s been a long time coming. They logged many hours for training and put in even more time forming this team. With the season knocking on the door, the team is excited to finally make history.
“The improvement has been tremendous since the beginning,” coach Meredith Black said. “I don’t have a lot of expectations in terms of wins or losses or stuff like that; I just want our team to grow and get better.”
With a hefty 17-game schedule, the players have plenty of opportunities to prove themselves. The front half of the season will ease the transition into Division-I competition, especially the first two games, which are against fellow first-year programs. However, the competition level picks up during the latter half of the season when the team plays four of the InsideLacrosse.com preseason top 20 teams.
“I think everyone is really excited, and we all have a really good work ethic so we know how hard it’s going to be,” freshman captain and attacker Emily Donovan said. “We’re just very excited to play.”
This weekend, the women’s lacrosse team plays the first regular season games in program history. The Golden Eagles travel to South Carolina for two road contests against the Winthrop Eagles on Friday and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Sunday. Since both teams are in their inaugural seasons as well, not much game film exists to help Marquette prepare.
“Winthrop has had two games before our game so they will be at a slight advantage in that sense, but I think it’s going to be a good dog fight with both games,” Black said. “Both teams are new so it’s just going to be which team works harder at the end and keeps possession and limits the mistakes.”
Winthrop, with two games in the books already, will have its debut nerves behind it. Marquette could struggle early on to find a rhythm, which could make it a fairly close contest.
The Golden Eagles will have a day to rest and travel across the state before their match-up against Coastal Carolina on Sunday. The Chanticleers also play their inaugural game on Friday, so fatigue on both sides will cancel out.
“We should definitely be able to compete against (Winthrop and Coastal Carolina),” said senior captain and midfielder Lisa Beltramello. “Everyone is super excited for the games so there’s going to be a lot of energy around it for sure.”
The time, work and effort players and coaches put into preparing will finally be put to the test. The players are excited and ready to take the field, and they cannot wait to make a statement in women’s lacrosse.
“We’ve worked really hard to get here,” Beltramello said. “This has been forever for the returning players, a year and a half in the making, so we’re all really excited. The freshmen are pumped, and it’s going to be a great season.”