By Bethany Lebel – Staff Writer
The University of Maine at Farmington’s (UMF) women’s lacrosse coach Molly Wilkie, has two major goals for her team this season and believes that both playing better defense collectively and winning a playoff game are attainable for this year’s group of talented lacrosse-playing women.
Last season was tough when it came to their win-loss record of 2-10, but Wilkie feels that they were in the games until the last second, and the outcome just didn’t work out in their favor.
Something that could help them this year is their defense. “We’re looking to just execute better defensively in our defensive sets,” said Wilkie. “We need to lock down a little bit more and be tougher that way.”
As for playoffs, as long as they keep climbing upward, Wilkie doesn’t see any reason as to why they couldn’t win a playoff game. Wilkie said that“getting better each game and progressing throughout the season” is important for reaching this goal.
There’s a slight obstacle that the team has to get through before the road to accomplishing their goals. According to Wilkie they need to start “gelling together,” or in other words, forming team chemistry.
Wilkie thinks will it will be their biggest challenge, which is why she has started conditioning practices with no sticks before formal practices start after February break. Her intention in doing this is to “build a little bit of cohesion as well as get a jump on the season.”
“When lacrosse starts, everyone’s busy with classes and some with other sports,” said Wilkie, “so getting people to talk to each other and build that chemistry, you definitely have to have more intention doing that.”
According to Wilkie, opponents should be on the lookout for three key returning players in the midfield.
Molly Carbin of Scarborough is a sophomore this year, who was recognized on the All-North Atlantic Conference (NAC) East Division First Team last year. “I think that just having that year under her belt she’ll do really well,” said Wilkie.
Senior captain Emma Morrison of Saco along with seniors Amie Daniels of Lewiston and Alyssa Neptune of Readfield, were also recognized on the All-NAC East Division First Team last year.
“[Morrison is] a very good lacrosse player, and she’s got all the other qualities that you look for in a teammate,” said Wilkie. “She didn’t play her first couple years, so coming back as a senior I think she’ll be a big help for us.”
Daniels is another one to watch out for. She didn’t get to play a full season last year due to an ankle injury. “She’s a really skilled stick-handler and a very good shooter,” said Wilkie, “so having her attacking presence back will be really good.”
Aimee St. Germain played attack last year for Wilkie and received Rookie of the Week honors from the NAC twice. This year, however, she will be returning as a student assistant coach because under doctor’s orders she is no longer allowed to play contact sports due to too many concussions.
Despite the fact that St. Germain won’t be playing Wilkie is excited to have St. Germain by her side with her player’s perspective. “I think she’ll bring a lot of knowledge from the attacking side,” said Wilkie. “She has a mind for the game, and I think she’ll relate well to the players as well as be another set of eyes.”
Women’s lacrosse is still a relatively new program, and Wilkie is still looking for players to build up numbers. “Practices formally start on the 27th so if they played in high school and are interested, they can get in touch with me before break,” said Wilkie.
For more information contact Molly Wilkie at email@example.com.