Lacrosse sets sights on championship as it enters its fourth season


Kent State clears the ball at Dix Stadium in a game against Presbyterian College. The Flashes would win 21-12. March 22, 2021.

Jacob Shondel Reporter

Kent State women’s lacrosse team will have a roster with all four classes for the first-time in program history; the program was added as a varsity sport four years ago, and it has its eyes set on a Mid-American Conference championship.

“[The] number one goal this season is to win a MAC championship,” coach Brianne Tierney said.

With the majority of the team being juniors and seniors, it will only help Tierney achieve this goal.

“This senior class might be one of the most experienced classes in the country; they’ve probably played the most minutes,” Tierney said.

With the seniors on the roster playing many minutes over the past three seasons staying healthy will be important.

“We need to have an awareness of what our schedule looks like, keeping the lines of communication open between our strength and training staff, making sure we are not over doing it.” Tierney said. “Spending more time in meetings and watching film versus being out on the field, which has been so crucial for us in past years.”

The Flashes will open their season against Butler, who finished 1-11 last season, at 1 p.m. Saturday at Dix Stadium. Kent State looks to get their first win in program history over Butler. Their last matchup was in 2020 where the Flashes fell 18-9.

 After finishing the 2021 season 5-10 (4-6 MAC), Kent State will return 22 players from last year’s roster, while adding seven freshmen to the roster.

Kent State was picked to finish fourth in the MAC by the coaches in the preseason poll released on Tuesday. The reigning MAC champion Robert Morris was picked to finish first.  

Senior midfielder Abby Jones is coming off a season in which she was named First Team All-MAC and led the team in goals with 38, which was fourth in the MAC. Sophomore attacker Jackie Wolford will look to build on last season after she was named MAC Freshman of the Year.

Wolford started 13 games last season and scored 27 goals which was third best on the team.

To reach the goal of a MAC championship changes have been made to the team.

“We’ve been designing our defense to disrupt an offense rather than react to the offense,” Tierney said. “And we’ve developed chemistry on our offensive side, while gaining more confidence every day we take the field.”

Senior midfielder Madison Rapier said they’ve “spent more time trying to mesh.”

“We’ve been trying to figure out our good qualities to see how we work with each other,” Rapier said. “From what I’ve seen it has been very positive, and I think we can be a very successful team this year.”

The Flashes have adopted the motto “better than yesterday,” senior attacker Megan Kozar said.

Senior attacker Kelli Bailey, Kozar and Rapier were selected as captains for the Flashes.

“Being named a captain by my teammates was a big honor,” Bailey said. “Being a voice on the team and the connection to the coaches is something I look forward to.”

After opening the season against Butler, the Flashes will remain at home Feb. 18 taking on Duquesne. Kent State will then travel to Akron Feb. 23 where they will begin conference play.

Jacob Shondel is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].