10th place ranking motivates Rock lacrosse

Published by adviser, Author: Cody McCullough - Rocket Contributor, Date: February 19, 2015
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The Slippery Rock University lacrosse team was picked to finish 10th in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, but the team doesn’t agree with the selection.

Senior attacker Lydia Heishman believes that this team is different than teams in the past, and will come out and prove all who doubt the team wrong.

“I think we will finish strong in the PSAC and win almost every game,” Heishman said. “We are going to come out hard and tell the PSAC we are not ranked 10th.”

The Rock is returning four of its top five scorers from last year, which could really help this prediction become a reality. 

Paige Costantino, Kaytlin Callaghan, Jess Verbic and Erin Wilcox are all returning, with each of them coming off of a season in which they all scored at least 20 goals. 

These ladies will have to fill the void left by both of the team’s All-PSAC selections last year, Morgan Pettit and Kaytlin Hafdell.

Coming off of a 6-11 record in 2014, SRU is looking to prove everyone wrong and make the conference playoffs. 

SRU lost five games last year by either one or two goals, and without those close losses, SRU would be ranked much higher going into this season.

The three captains will need to do a big part in replacing the departing All-PSAC selections. The captains this year are Constantino, who is the top leading scorer, coming off a 39 goal campaign to go along with her 13 assists. 

Joining her are Verbic and Wilcox. Verbic was fourth on the team in scoring with 26 goals to go along with her six assists. 

Right behind her in scoring was Wilcox, who tallied 24 goals and two assists. 

Another top scorer coming back is Callaghan, who had a successful season herself last year with 23 goals and 10 assists, making her the third leading scorer last season.

Head coach Emily Hopkins will be leading this group of young women, hoping to make the conference playoffs in her eighth season. 

Just like Heishman, Hopkins believes the team did not perform up to their full potential last year, causing them to lose all those close games.

“We had a mix of being young and injured last year,” Hopkins said. “We played flat in the first half of games last year on occasion, and we need to show up every game this year.”

Hopkin’s expectations this season are to make the conference playoffs, which she thinks is well within reach. 

Just like Heishman she believes the team is out to prove people wrong, and show that they do not belong at 10th in the rankings.

Hopkins said the team needs to invest in each other, play as a unit and take care of business. She knows that the talent is there, they just have to finish games.

“Always rely on your team,” Heishman said. “Do it for the team, not yourself.”

Heishman has been on the team for four years, and said if the team believes in one another and keeps going hard, they can overcome all obstacles.

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