By Brandon Halcomb, Contributing Writer

The women’s lacrosse team at Asbury University went 3-7 during its opening season in 2014-2015, and they went 0-2 in the conference. Now in the second season, head coach Rich Manieri is hoping to change the atmosphere surrounding the team and start to build a winning program.

“We have a solid core of returning players who are going to be better this year. What that looks like in terms of record I can’t guess but I do believe we will grow and improve as a program.” Manieri said.

Junior defensive specialist, Kylie Gooden, echoed her coach’s enthusiasm, “Last year I think our goal was just to get out on the field and compete. I think this year we want to compete at a higher level than last year. We did have some strong wins, but we were still learning a lot as we went, and I think we have our feet under us more now than we did last year.”

The lady Eagles return 13 players from last year while adding seven freshmen. Despite the rocky first season, the team believes that they can take their growing pains and turn them into learning experiences.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I WANT US TO COME TOGETHER AND DEVELOP A SELFLESS MINDSET. IF WE ARE PREPARING AND PLAYING FOR EACH OTHER, FOR ASBURY AND FOR GOD, THEN I BELIEVE WE WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. [/pullquote]

“As a team, we learned a lot last season because of the difficult schedule that we had. I think a lot of us will take what we learned last year and put it to use this year. The team has a lot of potential so I have no doubt we will have a great season.” Gooden said.

With the last season behind them, the lady Eagles are looking forward to a bright future and working toward improving on and off the field.

“Mainly, I want to see the program grow. We’re in a new conference; we have a lot of new players. From a practical standpoint, I want to win more games than we won last year but more important than that, I want to see the program grow and our players develop, on and off the field, as athletes and students.” Manieri said.

The lady Eagles will take the field for the first time this season on September 26 at home in an exhibition game against the University of Kentucky’s club team.

“My expectations are that we grow and improve with every practice and every game. I want us to come together, on and off the field, and develop a selfless mindset. If we are preparing and playing for each other, for Asbury and for God, then I believe we will be successful.” Manieri said.