• By Zach Sturgill

A New Season for Women’s Lacrosse

First-Year Coach Joins Team of 17

Olivet College women’s lacrosse is preparing for a fresh 2018 season under a new coach Christopher Merucci.

In 2017, the program nished at a low spot in the MIAA (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) conference. Merucci was announced as the coach on Jan. 15. When asked about the team Merucci said, “I see young ladies that have a drive, a passion, and the love to play the game of lacrosse.”

This is his rest season coaching at the collegiate level, as he spent the pre- vious two years coaching high school women’s lacrosse in Michigan. Merucci was at Bloom eld Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood School last year, where he helped the Cranes win the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division II championship in school history, according to olivetcomets.com. Before that, he coached at Livonia Ladywood for one season.

Merucci had to adjust to a collegiate program in his rst few weeks after being named coach. One challenge was “organizing workouts, training, meetings and practices.”

To help with organization and other challenges, Merucci said, “communication and understanding are the roots of our program. We understand that this program is in a signi cant rebuilding stage and the only way we will reach the top of the mountain is by working together and helping each other.”

Senior Stephanie Robinson is a captain on the women’s lacrosse team and said that she feels leadership responsibility to help others.

“This team requires that I give more attention to the new players,” she said. Robinson also said, “It is very important to show up to practice every day. A team is only as strong as its weakest player. Most of the new girls have shown great potential in just the few weeks that we have been practic- ing, so it will be cool to see where they take us.”

Freshman Grace Forbush is one of the new girls and she said, “I’m excited

to play and compete. Practice has been fun, and I want to see the action in games.”

Women’s lacrosse will play its rst game on Feb. 28 against Heidelberg University at the Cutler Athletic Complex. They then move into March with two more home matchups. Olivet plays Elmhurst College on Saturday, March. 3, then take on Cornell College on Thursday, March 8. Three more non- conference games follow; all will be played away.

During the stretch of games out- side of the MIAA, Merucci said, “We will work on improving our clears, our transition o ense and our ‘settled’ team defense.”

The rst conference matchup will be at Hope College on Saturday, March 31. “We will treat every game the same and focus on our goals of together- ness, unity, enjoyment and improving as players and teammates every day and every game,” Merucci said.

For the full Olivet College women’s lacrosse schedule, visit www.olivetcomets.com/sports/wlax/2017-18/schedule.


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