By: Collin Frazier
Kelly and company ready to do even better this spring season
The last three years have affected all of us in some way, shape, or form due to COVID-19. Not just students at UF, but student athletes as well, and the University of Findlay Lacrosse team has been no exception to this. Fortunately for everyone, cases are going down, and some sense of normalcy is returning, for now. With that, the team is ready for a normal season once again.
“I think this year is a little bit more of a regular year, I’d say,” Head Coach Allison Kelly stated. “We’re back to traveling a little bit more than we’re used to the last couple of years, so that’s really exciting. We’re going to Florida for spring break to play good competition, so that’ll be fun, but we’re just hoping for a really good year.”
Joining the excitement this season is Kate Ryan, who joins the team as assistant coach. With Division I playing experience from Monmouth University (N.J.), and Division I coaching experience from Delaware State, the Lady Oilers are welcoming her with open arms.
“We’re really excited to bring Kate onto the staff this year,” Kelly commented. “She has a lot of great experience behind her and a lot of great energy. She is really an intense coach in the sense that she has Division I experience – playing experience and coaching experience – so she knows the speed of the game that can be played at.”
“She pushes the girls to play at that level. She’s been doing awesome with the girls, [and] the girls have really taken on her new role and they really like to learn from her and they really listen to her,” Kelly continued.
With this addition, the G-MAC has projected the Lady Oilers to finish second in the conference. Of course, Kelly and the team are motivated to do better than runner-up and take the conference.
But to that, they need to work on the mental side of lacrosse.
“I think the biggest thing we’re focusing on is what we learned from last year,” Kelly explained. “[We are] going in with a new mindset every game, that every game is different. Every game is new, and we can’t always take from the last game with how this game is gonna turn out.
“It’s kind of a mind game for us too and I don’t know what it is for our team, but we’re working on our mental game on top of our physical game. But, I’m hoping that we can work through that,” she continued.
“Something I always expect from Indianapolis is just really good lacrosse,” Kelly stated. “They’ve always been very disciplined, so I expect them to be very sound when we play them. They’re very physical – something that they’ve always been. We expect, hopefully, a good game.
Unfortunately, the University of Indianapolis cancelled their game against the Lady Oilers due to an icy playing surface at the Armstrong Sports Complex on Feb. 26. The Lady Oilers will have other opportunities to work on their mental and physical games as they continue their season.
“It’s a good way to start out this season in the sense of kind of giving us a real good reality check of what we need to work on, and it’s good competition. They’re actually picked to finish second in the nation – or that’s where they’re ranked right now – and that’s a really awesome opportunity for us to play a team at that level.”
Lewis University will host the Lady Oilers on Mar. 20.
Featured image: University of Findlay Athletics.