Eastern Girls’ Lacrosse Season Preview

March marks the official start of spring. You know what else has started? Eastern Girls’ Lacrosse season! The team is back and better than ever with both new and returning players who are ready to crush it on the field. It was my pleasure to get some insight from Coach Kiep into what this season may bring.

   Most sports seasons are marked by alterations, scrapping, or reworking of game plans. It is one thing to teach players how to maneuver on the field, but Coach Kiep wants her players to be driven to push themselves and to “understand and experience the results that come along with dedication and determination.” Compared to last season, she wants to focus on a stronger defensive team mindset.

    Coach Kiep is looking forward to watching all of her players this season.

   “I love seeing the results of the work that the returning players put in during the off season and I love meeting new players and watching them pick up the game for the first time and develop throughout the season.” Jane Trauger, Kelsey Barratt, and Susie Miller, three of her returning players, share their coach’s excitement.

    “I’m most excited about game days and getting closer with my lacrosse friends as well as making new ones,” Trauger said. “I have friends on Shawnee and Cherry Hill West that I always look forward to seeing and competing against.”

   Coach Kiep remarks that the energy has been great since practice began on March 7th. “We are so happy to be back on the field together. Lots of hard work, eagerness, intensity, and of course—some laughs.” 

   Coach Kiep takes great pride in getting her team prepared for games. To get her girls pumped up, rushing with adrenaline, and ready to dominate, she allows them to jam out to music before the game. During postgame rituals, they reflect on their accomplishments and discuss the areas where they are proud and where they can improve.

    “As a goalie, I always step onto the field with confidence, so I would say when I start playing well, my confidence just continues to grow and I build up an adrenaline rush that pushes me to play even better,” said Miller. Those pre-game rituals in the locker room must be responsible!

   In regards to her predictions for this season, Coach Kiep stated, “I predict that the team will face every game with high energy, competitiveness and intensity.” She added, “Anything can happen during the season so showing up to each game prepared, eager and grateful to compete is necessary.”

   Every high a team experiences is inevitably followed by a low. The key is to find a way to overcome these lows!

   According to Barratt, one of the best pieces of advice she received from her coaches that she plans to carry into this year’s season is to, “Fight through adversity and just play your heart out like it’s your last game, because you never know when that will be.”

   Trauger comments that one of the biggest weaknesses a team can have is the tendency to point fingers when there are areas that everyone can improve upon. She says, “Even the best player on a team makes mistakes. I think constructive criticism can be a good thing, but sometimes when it becomes a blame game it can tear teams apart.” 

   In anticipation of this season, the girls will continue to rant their mantra: Us vs Us. Every day, this mantra encourages the girls to concentrate on their own team and work on improving their weaknesses.

   “I believe in every one of my players,” Coach Kiep said. “I believe that they can push themselves past their limits and succeed if they put their mind to it. I want the best for each player and for them to ultimately be happy, successful and confident in themselves.”

    The varsity girls’ first game will be an away game against Paul VI High School. Come show your support and watch the team light up the field!