Welcome to episode No. 52 of The Scarlet Faithful podcast. This episode previews the 2023 season for Rutgers women’s lacrosse with head coach Melissa Lehman. Expectations are high for the program after the progress made over the two previous seasons.
The Scarlet Knights are ranked No. 7/8 in the preseason polls after the most successful season in program history a year ago. A No. 10 finish in the polls and program best 16 wins was highlighted by advancing to the Big Ten Championship game and winning an NCAA Tournament game for a second straight season. Lehman earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors due to the landmark campaign.
Rutgers returns All-Americans Cassidy Spilis, Meghan Ball and Marin Hartshorn among a strong group of returning contributors. In addition, Ashley Campo was named a preseason All-American along with Spilis and Ball. Sophia Cardello returns in net after a standout sophomore campaign.
The schedule features nine teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament. This includes non-conference games against Jacksonville, Princeton, Stony Brook, Vermont and James Madison. In Big Ten play, both Maryland and Northwestern advanced to the Final Four while Michigan and Johns Hopkins earned bids as well. All four Big Ten programs as well as Rutgers will begin the 2023 in the national rankings.
Topics covered in this episode include key veterans returning, roster development, raising expectations, the challenging non-conference schedule, season goals and more.
Thanks to coach Lehman for taking the time to preview her team ahead of Sunday’s season opener at Jacksonville. And thank you for listening and watching.
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