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Women's lacrosse chases national title

By Robert Sturgis
On March 29, 2011

When the final whistle blew and the teams left the field it looked as if the season was off to a bad start.

The Norwich women's lacrosse team lost its season opener to Westfield State College 17-9.

"It was our first game of the year," said Kacey Abbriano, a junior physical education major, "and even though we lost we still were able to do a lot of good things."

The Cadets know that one loss is just a small bump in the road in their chase for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title.

"The women's hockey team lost their first game and won the national championship so why can't we," said Grace Fitzpatrick, 19, a freshman civil engineering major from Falmouth, Maine.

The Cadets know they have the talent to make a run for the GNAC title and feel there is no reason they shouldn't repeat.

 "We have lots of talent; and as long as we stick to the system and keep giving 100 percent we will be fine," said Whitney Brown, 20, a junior athletic training major from Rochester, N.H.

The Cadets showed their talents in the first half against Westfield State as they went into the half only down 6-4, but were unable to hold on to that in the second half of play.

"We have a good team and I know we will turn it around," said Abbriano, 20, from Hicksville, N.Y. "We just have to play our game and we will be fine."

The Cadets started their GNAC play March 26 when they faced Lasell College on the road in the midst of a four-game road stand, in which they will play two other conference games against St. Joseph (Conn.) and Rivier College. They defeated Lasell, 12-10.

"It's going to be tough playing our first four games on the road, but we will fight through it and continue to get better," said Brown.

The Cadets will then play six straight home games, all conference games. The highlight will occur when the Cadets host Emerson on April 9.

"When I first got here we couldn't beat Emerson and last year we were finally able to beat them twice," said Abbriano, "It's usually a great game whenever both teams play each other."

Last year Norwich defeated Emerson in the regular season as well as for the GNAC championship in the title game.

The Cadets have 11 returners and 10 new players who have to seamlessly learn the system, and hope to contribute towards their team's title chase.

"We have been working hard to master our offense and defense this training camp as well as getting in shape for the long season," said Fitzpatrick.

The Cadets work on their offense and defense knowing it has to be perfect to repeat as GNAC champions.

"Our goal from the beginning of training camp was to repeat and it's not going to change until we get it," said Abbriano.

The Cadets have their home opener April 6 when they play Emmanuel (Mass.).

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