By Mathew Galvao ‘17
Paula Habel Hired as New Women’s Lacrosse Coach
The Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team has named Paula Habel as their new head coach entering the 2016 campaign. Habel will be the sixth head coach in the program’s history. Habel is excited to get the season underway at the helm of the lacrosse program.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity. It’s a school that has a lot of potential,” said head coach Paula Habel. “There are a lot of other teams this fall that did really well so I think that where there were other teams that were successful, success breeds success.”
Habel found her way to Merrimack after helping run a lacrosse summer camp and learned of the coaching vacancy during her time there. Interestingly enough, Habel worked with some of the Merrimack roster at the camp and it helped lead her here at Merrimack.
“I worked a summer camp this past summer with three of the players and I got to know them a little bit. I heard there was an opening here and I applied,” Habel stated. “The more I went through the process with the application and interviews the more excited I got about the job and the opportunity here at Merrimack.”
The youthful energy that Merrimack has on its roster is something that excites coach Habel heading into the season. There are a large number of players throughout the roster that are continuing to learn and develop as players.
“I think we have a very exciting team, in we’re very young,” Habel explained. “Some people may see that as a negative but I see it as we have a lot of young energy and players that are learning and developing, and that’s exciting.”
With youth comes some sort of inexperience and that is something that coach Habel isn’t too worried about. Instead it may even work in their favor.
“I think you can look at it either way, for me it’s a positive,” said Habel. “We are young, we are energetic, and we are youthful. We have fresh legs and we have strong leadership at the top that will help those players develop.”
Habel has had a lot of previous coaching experience before coming to Merrimack. She has spent time at Colby College, Emerson College, Bridgewater State, Allegheny, and Plymouth State. All of this experience does help when transitioning into the first year with a new program.
“I have a very diversified past. I’ve worked under some really great head coaches and I think that I can take a little bit from everyone I’ve worked under and mold myself and help mold the team,” Habel explained.
With a very condensed fall schedule coach Habel was able to get to know the players early on and set up a plan of how they want to operate as a team.
“We had a condensed fall schedule so it was fun. I feel like I’m getting to know them,” Habel explained. “I feel like we’re getting to understand each other’s styles, and together I think we can make some really good things happen.”
The team hasn’t had the best of seasons the last three years, with not making the playoffs in those three years. With a new coach, the team hopes to get better and make strides in 2016.
“If we are healthy I think we’ll be good. We are going to have to get creative but that’s okay, I’m excited for that,” said Habel. “I think for us, success is going to be defined as us getting better. It’s going to be one game at a time.”