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Lacrosse Ready To Turn Things Around With Alum At Helm

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Lacrosse Ready To Turn Things Around With Alum At Helm

The Blue Devils will look to improve on 1-6 NEC record last season.

The Blue Devils will look to improve on 1-6 NEC record last season.

Julia Jade Moran

The Blue Devils will look to improve on 1-6 NEC record last season.

Julia Jade Moran

Julia Jade Moran

The Blue Devils will look to improve on 1-6 NEC record last season.

Ryan Jones, Assistant Sports Editor

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Heart and hustle. For Betsy Vendel, Central Connecticut’s new lacrosse coach, these are the two most important facets of the game. As for the Blue Devils, it’s a new-found lifestyle.

Last season, things could have gone better for the Blue Devils, who finished with a 1-6 Northeast Conference record that placed them only a game ahead of last place. Eager for a chance at contention again, CCSU named Vendel the new head coach of the program at the end of 2018.

Vendel had been an interim coach at Southern Connecticut, and already has an impressive resume with the Blue Devils. But this comes as a player instead of a coach.

Vendel graduated from Central in 2014 and dominated the field in her time as a player. Never missing a start over her four years, Vendel leads the program in points (219) and assists (99) and now has a chance to make more history for her alma mater.

The knowledge that comes from Vendel’s offensive prowess at the attack position could come in handy for the Blue Devils, who last year ranked last in the NEC in goals, assists and shots on goal per game. Vendel mentioned a change of offensive scheme that could help the Blue Devils this year, ideally giving everyone on offense the chance to score.

I’ve put in a couple offenses where there’s two or three options off of each part of it. It’s moving from having one or two people be successful to having everyone as an option. It’s definitely more of a shared offense, which I think is motivating,” Vendel said.

Eight freshmen will be joining the Blue Devils this year, and look to play a large role on the team early.

They bring such a wealth of skill, a fresh look into our offense,” Vendel said. “They’re all definitely going to be big contributors this year. I have high expectations for sure.”

On the other side of the ball, Central will be sporting some depth in the crease this year, with three goalies on their roster. Last year, then junior Jackie Branthover started in 11 of the Blue Devils’ games while freshmen Meaghan Allard started the final four games of the season.

Now, Branthover will once again be sharing the net with sophomore Cooper Cowdin and freshmen Emily Erne.

As for who will be playing in goal for Central, Vendel explained “it’s more in terms of what team we are playing, what we’ll need for that. That’ll come with scouting,” but added that “I feel confident with each one of them in there, so it’s a good problem to have for me.”

But the two things it will come down to for the Blue Devils is heart and hustle, which Vendel wants her team to focus on.

“If you have enough heart in this game and you hustle your butt off,” Vendel explained. “Then you will become successful. The skills will fall into place if you have those two components.”

For the Blue Devils, their heart and hustle will be put to the test Saturday, as they open their season against Holy Cross. Their conference play will begin April 5, when they take on LIU Brooklyn.

About the Writer
Ryan Jones, Assistant Sports Editor

Ryan Jones can be reached at rjones@centralrecorder.org.

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Lacrosse Ready To Turn Things Around With Alum At Helm