Maybe it's the new digs.
Maybe it's the new coach.
Maybe it's a new attitude.
Whatever it is, the 2013 edition of Bearcat Lacrosse is something to experience. It's a fun, fast version of the game that's producing results. After Friday's 16-6 win over Detroit in their new home at the Sheakley Athletics Center, the team is now 4-0 at home this season, 5-4 overall heading into the meat of the conference schedule.
First, the new digs: As I mentioned, Sheakley (home of the now-deflated bubble) will be the home of the lacrosse team the rest of the season, and it's a great place to watch the game, a cozy stadium that makes the crowd and band seem even louder.
Now, the new coach: Gina Oliver comes into Clifton with quite the resume: United States Women's National Team member, she played undergraduate at Ohio State and coached defense as Duquesne, where she produced a 2012 Atlantic-10 Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.
And, the new attitude: You can tell this team respects Coach Oliver--and likes her. They sang "Happy Birthday" to her after Friday's game. They feed off her enthusiasm for the game, and they are playing with a purpose. Even a novice lacrosse fan (like myself) can see that this year, they are more patient in developing plays and take their time executing the best shot. In goal, freshman Meg Gulmi makes the job look easy--she flicks away shots like she was shooing away a fly. She makes it look effortless--although you know it's not.
Now that class is back in session after the Easter break, it's a great time to catch this lacrosse team in action against some of the best in the BIG EAST. Especially for some of the high school teams in the area, both girls and boys, it's an opporunity to see how the game is played at the collegiate level.