Bearcats Look To Make Impact In 2012|
Feb. 14, 2012
By Megan Roehm
The University of Cincinnati women’s lacrosse season begins at San Diego State on Friday and according to fifth-year head coach Lellie Swords, fans can expect great things from the Bearcats this year.
“Our fitness level has really improved and we have learned how to start a game faster,” Swords said. “We are healthy and our work ethic is so great this year.”
Cincinnati ended the 2011 season with a record of 2-14 (0-8 in BIG EAST) and their biggest goal for the upcoming season is to improve their record and stay healthy. Numerous injuries set the team back last year and according to junior attack Katie Kiriazoglou, they have been doing whatever it takes to prevent these setbacks.
“Last year we had a lot of talent but we also had a lot of injuries, so our record didn’t really reflect how hard we worked,” Kiriazoglou said. “There were definitely some games I wish we could get back, especially in the BIG EAST.”
The Bearcats will not dwell on the past though, but instead look to overcome those obstacles in their upcoming season.
“We’ve done a lot of injury prevention this year because of all the injuries last year,” Kiriazoglou said. “We’ve been working in the training room and we are definitely fitter and faster this year.”
With the progress they’ve made, the Bearcats anticipate the best season they’ve had to date. As a newer program, Swords stresses self-confidence in what they are capable of and buying into that. After the 2011 season, the staff made changes based on injury, personnel and style. UC expects great results on the field.
“Everything we have done this year has been completely new,” Swords said. “The girls have done an awesome job adapting to the changes and I think it has made us stronger.”
UC is now focused on its strengths and goals as a team, hoping to make this season the most successful to date. Senior midfielder Laura Simanski said the team has improved in every aspect of the game and they are ready to take on the BIG EAST Conference.
“We changed up the defense and offense and other little things and we are a whole different team now,” she said. “We have people capable of a lot of things and we are just working really hard. We have a common goal and we know what we have to do to get it done and we are doing it this year.”
Swords, Kiriazoglou and Simanski can all agree that the common goal for the Bearcats is to improve from last year, win their first BIG EAST game and make a name for themselves in the conference.
“Of course we want to make a statement in the BIG EAST and show them that we can match up,” said Kiriazoglou. “We’ve always been the underdogs so we want to make a name for ourselves. We just want to improve from last year.”
As Cincinnati kicks off the season Friday, Swords has faith in her team and their hard work and fans can expect great things from the Bearcats this year.
“We are fighters, we work hard every game, we are better skilled this year, our fitness level has allowed us to do more exciting things and it has given us a lot of opportunities on the field,” Swords said. “I think in general fans will see a very different team on the field.”