Its 11 a.m. and raining. A sea of grey and white shirts flood the upper lacrosse field, outside the newly renovated athletic center. Cleats in hand, and running sneakers just in case, the girls don’t even realize it is raining.
Their concentration has been altered from the horrible weather conditions to the 100 yard sprints they have just been assigned.
“On the white line,” yells Coach Stephania Samaras, the first ever full time women’s lacrosse coach in the program’s history. Stephy (as her team calls her) is the best thing to have ever happen to this group of girls.
An All-American lacrosse player in 1999 and 2000, Samaras graduated from the University of Virginia in 2000. With her experience, knowledge and dedication to the sport of lacrosse, Samaras hopes to take the women’s lacrosse program to a new level.
Since the girls met the first week of school, and began practice, the team has evolved into something they can all be quite proud of.
“Our team dynamic has changed. We all work together now. We are not separated by class, or ability and everyone has become friends. We are one unit working together,” said Samaras.
Junior Annie Paquette agrees. “We are working together and getting better each day. It’s a rebuilding year after losing several seniors last year. We have new talented freshman and the upperclassmen that are still on the team are amazing. Our new coach is very talented herself and pushes us like no coach ever has before in the past. With Stephy’s help and our dedicated team I feel this is the first of many great seasons to come.”
As practice gets more intense the girls keep in mind that it will all be worth it in the future.
“This fall has been a different experience for us. We are working a lot harder then we ever have before. We just have to remind ourselves that when we begin games in the spring it will all pay off,” said team captain Kate Stima.
All the hard work and dedication is already helping the Bobcats make a name for themselves in the college lacrosse community. On Oct. 27 the girls traveled to Maryland to play the University of Maryland, seven time national champions.
“I think we represented the school well. It was probably the scariest moment in Quinnipiac Women’s Lacrosse history. When our fears escaped us though, we were able to really play them well,” said Samaras.
Stima, agreed. “It was a great experience, we were able to play against the top division one program, and we really held our own.”
So what’s on the horizon for the QU Women’s lacrosse team? When asked what her goal for the season was, Coach Samaras said, “It’s hard to pick one! I have like twenty five! I guess winning in the NEC’s and representing our school to the best of our ability.”
Freshman, Jen Larson, also agrees that the future looks bright. “With a little hard work and determination, our team can win the NEC’s,” she said.
A lot of sweat, heart, pain and an hour later the girls are done with their workout. They have just completed one more day of what they call “La Crosse Country practice.”
La Crosse Country- (noun). A newly invented sport that combines cross country running with lacrosse. Take women’s lacrosse players, add as much running as possible, and there you have it!
After taking a step back from my role as a member of this team, and putting myself in the shoes of a reporter, I must say that Quinnipiac has a lot to look for in the spring with the QU Bobcats.