by Mathew Galvao ’17, Staff Writer
This 2014 season for women’s lacrosse has been a trying one. With a 2-8 overall record and a 1-6 conference record, the Warriors stand 11th of 13 teams in the NE-10 conference. The Warriors also have played more games than any other conference opponent, meaning they have less time to try and make up lost ground.
With a new head coach in Michael Daly and many freshmen in the lineup it’s been a difficult year for the Warriors to rebuild with a new coach and new players. Daly feels that the inexperience and culture change has had an effect on his team’s struggles earlier on in the season.
“We graduated a lot of the starting lineup last year and a lot of veteran leadership. It’s been kind of remaking the whole team from scratch,” Daly said. “The culture change can be difficult. People have been put in roles they haven’t really been put in as far as playing more minutes, especially for younger players. That transition takes time and can be stressful and non-successful. Usually when that happens it’s going to be messy for a while.
Daly feels that he can see his team progressing offensively and defensively heading into the second half of the season.
“I’m seeing it on both sides of the ball. Our defense is really starting to gel. We threw a lot of defensive structures at them early which is a tall order to ask but we’re really starting to see that growth,” he said.
Daly is less worried about offense.
“Offense usually comes later, but we are finally starting to get some flow,” he explained. “Earlier we weren’t scoring enough goals. But offensively and defensively we are starting to click and that’s good.”
With a young team like Merrimack these growing pains and early struggles should be really beneficial down the road because of the experience the players are getting from it. These trials and tribulations could make the program that much better, and that is what Daly feels could benefit the program in the years to come.
“I think the experience they are getting now as far as on the field and learning a lot, I’m a strategic coach so I throw a lot at them. It’s always my philosophy for them to be the smartest players on the field. When you have smarter players on the field that’s the edge,” he said. “They are going to get so much game experience that by the time next year rolls around I think it’s going to make the program much, much better.”
Heading into the final third of the season and the rest of the year, Daly hopes that the team just keeps improving, keeps finding their identity on both sides of the ball, and he hopes they find some consistency.
“I’d like to see us continue to find our identity as a team offensively and defensively which I think is coming, and some consistency which I think is coming,” Daly explained. “I think we just started to turn that corner of consistency of effort. You have to compete to win.”