By Thomas Scavetta
Assistant Sports Editor
Entering her eighth season as head coach of the women’s lacrosse team, Meghan McNamara has placed herself among the finest coaches in all of Division II women’s lacrosse. Winning two National Titles with the Pioneers in 2012 and 2013, McNamara is seeking her third National Championship in four years.
What are your goals and expectations for this upcoming season after your tremendous season last year?
A few of my goals are for our team to come together, get better every day and every game that we play, so it’s a step-by-step process for us. We just want to keep succeeding and we’re focused on our first game. Right after that we’ll focus in on our second game on March 4. Our long- term goals are winning the East Coast Conference Championship and getting back to the National Championship, but right now we’re just taking it one game at a time.
How do you feel about your new breed of talented players taking the places of players like Jackie Sileo, Katie Rotan, and Melissa Rohr?
I’m really excited for them to have this opportunity to excel. A few of them played with our senior class last year, so for the younger talent coming in to be able to step into their roles and have that opportunity to continue their tradition and legacy really excites me.
Since this is a younger team from last year, how has the team chemistry been thus far during practices and scrimmages?
The team chemistry has been great. All the players get along with each other and they hang out off the field. They push each other, they’re all very driven, and they love the game of lacrosse. The younger players coming together last season was great because now this is their team.
What’s the key to maintaining the high level of play from previous seasons dating back to the 40-game win streak from 2012-2014?
I think the players have more in them, and pushing them past their potential of where they are is key. It’s keeping those athletes unsatisfied.
The key to success is having that love for the game and letting them enjoy it because it’s about their journey and getting better with their teammates. So just remembering that the game is awesome and what you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it.
How did it feel to win ECC Coach of the Year for a third straight year?
It’s an honor, but every time I receive coach of the year, it goes out to my team and staff. My players and I wouldn’t be where we are without our staff. It’s a unit, so that’s what makes this award awesome.
What’s your favorite part about coaching?
The growth of the players and seeing them improve and come together as a family. That’s why I’m there; for them to reach the unknown and see how growing from that and the excitement along with the opportunities they’ve been exposed to. I think that’s the best part and its great watching these young women and seeing them grow.
Is there a team motto you and your players follow?
There [are] a few that have been in our tradition and our family since the program started. It’s obviously to do work, start the game strong and remain dominant throughout all 60 minutes. Our team motto changes every year so I can’t give away this year’s, but the passion behind the work has been very important.
How has your incredible success as a coach and former player rubbed off on you as a person?
I’m hoping that I’m still very open-minded because I was taught to be very creative, keep instilling and changing the game, take advantage of the people surrounding you, learn from them and keep growing with all my players and staff I’ve been surrounded by, along with my former teammates that are coaching and my experiences from my former coaches and bosses. Just enjoy the game!