By: Collin Frazier
Coach Kelly preaching connectivity and optimism
With the spring sports season officially kicking off, many teams had their last season cut short due to COVID-19. Fortunately, a vaccine is slowly starting to roll out and sports are hopefully here to stay. One of those sports is Women’s Lacrosse. Having her inaugural season as head coach cut
short, UF Alumna ’18 Allison Kelly still learned much from last season, which she plans to carry into this year.
“The biggest thing I learned from my first season is that there is always adversity. I learned that when facing adversity the best thing to do is be relaxed and focused on a solution rather than wallow in the adversity itself,” Kelly explained via email. “Change is inevitable each year but now even more so as we face each week during the season in the middle of a global pandemic, and the only way to get through it is be positive and be grateful for what we have.”
While playing in the middle of a pandemic may be true, Kelly and the rest of the Lady Oilers are ready to play in a much warmer setting, something that was taken from them last year.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the girls play in the warmer months of our season, so April and May,” Kelly proclaimed. “We didn’t get a chance to play in warmer weather last year and that’s always been something I look forward to in lacrosse season.”
Of course, the Lady Oilers are also primed for this year’s competition.
“Besides just getting out on the field together for a game, I think the team is really looking forward to conference games,” said Kelly. “They were really fired up about our tie with Tiffin last year in the preseason coaches poll, so we are all looking forward to seeing what we can do this year in the conference.”
It should not come as a surprise that the team is so fired up for this season, as Kelly made a way for the athletes to stay connected and competitive during the offseason.
“One thing that my assistant and I did this past summer to try and keep everyone’s spirits up was create an offseason conditioning competition program. The girls were split into teams and for 9 weeks they completed various workouts to earn points for their teams,” Kelly described. “The winning team was given a prize and the title of Summer Conditioning Competition Champs. This allowed the girls to stay in touch while at home during the summer months and made their offseason workouts a little more enjoyable to get through.”
Being able to keep the team ready, and while there are still some roles to be fulfilled, Kelly is confident in her leaders to show the team the way.
“The underclassmen are still working their way into roles and positions on the team,” Kelly commented. “The sophomore class is still working to gain experience at the collegiate level of playing since they only got a small taste last year. This has really allowed the upperclassmen to take on leadership roles and help both the sophomores and freshmen prepare for the upcoming season. Additionally, having Ciara Burud and Michalea Jacks return for a 5th year due to COVID-19 has really helped add additional experience back to our team.”
The Lady Oilers kick off their 2021 season March 9 when they travel to Indianapolis.