Abby Witt, Staff Writer
Coach Rich Manieri has anticipated this day for the past year and a half as he has worked to establish a brand new team for Asbury University. With six straight months of preparation under their belt as a team, the Asbury University Women’s Lacrosse team will be taking on their first opponent, Truett-McConnell College, today at 4 p.m. in Wilmore.
“I expect us to bring every ounce of energy and focus to the game,” said Sophomore Kat White. “These past six months of training have finally led us here. Every girl on this team wants it just as much as the next, and I know they won’t bring anything [less] than their best,” she added
It is easy to see the amount of work this team has put into their sport since arriving on campus. Rain, sun and even snow— you can always expect to see this team working together, whether on the field in brutal weather or conditioning in the Luce Center. This team will undoubtedly prove they are here to play.
“We are going to be competitive in every game, and we are going to play as hard as we can play. Whatever happens, happens,” said Manieri. But this team makes up more than just girls playing a sport.
“We have all turned such a large group of girls into a family, and I absolutely love it,” said Freshman Jennifer Stratton, who sees the girls on her team as a support system. “I have never felt like I do not have anyone to turn to because everyone genuinely cares for each other, and I love it.”
Coach Manieri agreed, and said, “So many girls came to this University from a variety of life circumstances and from all over the country. It’s a pretty diverse group of people, and they have all come together as a family. Any coach would want that.”
Getting to this point was no easy journey for anyone involved. How difficult is it to recruit people who have never even heard of Asbury University to join a team that does not even exist yet? Manieri told his thoughts: “There was no program, no history and no team on campus. So you are really just selling them an idea, a vision of what we think this will look like.”