By Gus Nations IV, Copy Editor
After a strong first year of recruiting, an emerging Xavier women’s lacrosse team is ready to take flight for its first season of competition.
As the first Division I sport added to Xavier in the last 16 years, hopes are high that their first season will be one of success. Fortunately, it seems as though new Head Coach Meg Decker is ready to turn those hopes into realities.
Throughout the year in the Heidt Family Champions Center, Decker has been working to build a team ready to compete not only within the Big East, but also with conferences and teams beyond.
Despite there being no competition last year, the team worked in the offseason to recruit and begin building a program that will be competitive in the seasons to come.
Starting out with a strong core group of players, including sophomore Sophia Grigson and sophomore Aubrey Dean, Decker has only added to the promising roster. A few other members to watch out for include: Freshman Samantha Balara, who was named to the 2021 Under Armor All-American team, Freshman Emma Cecile, who led her club to a 25-12 record last year and graduate student Jessica Harrison, the Hartford standout who holds last year’s team-high season scoring record of 20 goals.
Though Decker has been strong in creating what she hopes will be a competitive team, it is her actions off the field that will make a difference as competition ramps up. Freshman Lola Mancuso spoke to the care with which Decker moved through the recruiting process. She felt as though Decker was the only coach she spoke to who really understood not only what it takes to run a Division I women’s lacrosse team, but how to develop positive relationships with her athletes that will bring the most out of their performances.
Xavier women’s lacrosse will be in action for the first time in their exhibition game against Liberty University on Oct. 1 in Fairfax, Virginia, followed by another match against American University the same day. After that, the Musketeers will be at home against the University of Cincinnati on Oct. 8.
With all the pieces in place and the runway clear, it’s safe to say that women’s lacrosse will be yet another addition to the tradition of athletic success that we have all come to expect. Xavier is ready to see women’s lacrosse in action.