New Name, New Field: NYIT Women’s Lacrosse

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Women’s Lacrosse has arrived at NYIT. They look to continue their ECC dominance under former Dowling College Head Coach, Kerri Handras. The team has been recognized as the 15th ranked Division II club by IWLCA (Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association) and #7 in the nation by US Lacrosse Magazine’s Preseason Poll.

The 2017 inaugural season for the Lady Bears is expected to hit the ground running. The Battle of the Boulevard has a new matchup that should live up to the hype, as LIU Post holds a nationally ranked #4 spot, and will be a highlighted conference game scheduled for Saturday, April 26th.

Although the battleground might be different, the team will look to make Presidents Stadium a difficult turf to be beaten on. The roster is 29 deep, including 14 Dowling College transfers led by Captain’s Trisha Serras (Midfield) and Lauren Young (Goalie). Several other senior leaders include Senior Defenseman Erin Smith and Senior Attackman Katie Meinecke earned ECC preseason honors.

Taylor Davide (Senior), Erin Lankowicz (Sophomore) Caitlin Appel (Sophomore), and Brooke Skahan (Sophomore) all participated on the Women’s Soccer team this past fall, and will be swapping out their soccer cleats for lacrosse spikes. These girls are no foreigners to the winning mentality that Coach Handras has set forth for this season. Caitlin Appel, the 2015 graduate from West Islip High School, helped them earn 2 trips to the Women’s Lacrosse Long Island Championship as a Junior and Senior, and a State Championship ring to show off from her Senior campaign. Erin Lankowicz, the 2015 Sayville graduate took part in Soccer, Track, and Lacrosse, earning a County Championship as a junior and was named All-Conference as a senior.

“Now that we’re at a new school, we have a lot more to prove,” said Serras. “It’s like we’re almost all freshmen all over again… We just have to be able to bring our A game and bring what we’ve done at Dowling.”

Coach Handras is approaching the 2017 season just like any other, but understands why her players are nervous and is reassuring them that the game is still the same. Their goals are the same. Their sets are the same. They just have a new name on the front of their jerseys.

“We’re going to practice like we did over there – just with a new name,” she told them. “New name, new field. Same rules, same expectations.” “We wanted to stick together because we’ve built this from the ground up and we went so far last year,” said senior goalie and Captain Lauren Young, who earned first team all-conference honors in 2016. “For us to really finish it out together would be the best thing.”

With the team’s recent success and Handras’ proven track record at Dowling with two ECC titles for lacrosse and two for soccer, as well as being named Coach of the Year three times, Athletic Director Duane Bailey expects the new NYIT team to be successful right out of the gate.

NYIT Women’s Lacrosse opens up their season on February 25th with a road contest at Georgian Court before making their President’s Stadium debut on Tuesday February 28 against Merrimack. Come out and show support for the newest Bears. It has all the ingredients to be a very exciting inaugural season!

For more information on the Bears, log onto nyitbears.com and follow @nyitbears on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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