Muskingum womens lacrosse team huddled together on the field, listening to Head Coach Taryn Burkholder give instructions during an afternoon practice session.

Womens Lacrosse Hopes Third Time is the Charm in 2017

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Muskingum Womens Lacrosse is looking to improve as they enter their third season of varsity competition.

The team is led by a cast of experienced juniors, including attacker Kaeleigh Norvet, and midfielders Ashley Adams, Katie Megery, and Paige Watterman. The four scored 105 of the team’s 135 goals during the 2016 season.

Adams has led the team in scoring each of the program’s first two seasons, scoring 45 goals and ranking amongst the top 10 in goals scored in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC).

Adams said she hopes to be more of a team player in 2017, adding she’s looking to put up more assists this season.

“My dad always told me ‘work on stats, work on stats, work on stats,’” said Adams. “This year, I’m looking for a little more assists than goals and I’m trying to be more of a team player.”

Taryn Burkholder, Head Womens Lacrosse Coach, said she hopes the team can build on the successes they had last season.

“We took big strides last year,” said Burkholder. “We improved on our possession game. We’re starting to hold on to the ball instead of taking the first shot on offense, kind of learning how to slow things down on offense… so we’re kind of trying to build patience on offense without rushing things.”

Kate Shamel, the junior goalie for the Muskies, is also returning for the 2017 season. Shamel led the OAC in saves (167) and ranked fifth in save percentage (43.0).

The Muskies are coming off a 5-12 campaign in 2016, an improvement from their inaugural season when they were winless in 2015. However, the team went 1-6 at home, a stat Burkholder hopes the team can improve.

“We get a little excited when we play at home sometimes,” said Burkholder, adding that senior night was a prime example. “That was a big game for us. I think we were so excited on outside factors. I think when we play at home, we just got to focus on winning on our turf and leave outside factors outside.”

Adams said the improvement between the first season and the second was due to the improvement in both coaching and team chemistry.

“I think that, with our team chemistry building and us working so hard in the offseason,” said Adams.  “And with the coaching levels improving, I think we have a better chance of working together as a unit and getting some more wins…I feel like one of our team goals is to get more than five wins.”

The Muskies begin their season with back-to-back road games on Feb. 18-19 at Transylvania and at Thomas More before their first home matchup against Franciscan on March 1.

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