The last year of Brockport’s great Wall

A preview of Brockport’s 2017 women’s lacrosse team

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Senior Kelly Wall plays in the 2016 NCAA tournament’s second round against St. Mary’s. Wall had 57 goals and 31 assists last year earning herself first team All-SUNYAC honors. Photo: courtesy of the Brockport Athletic Communication Department via Flickr.com

By Dan Daly

After finishing its 2016 season with a strong overall record of 15-4, the ninth-ranked Brockport women’s lacrosse team is looking to improve upon the success of last year.

Head coach Stephen Wagner says he has high expectations for his team this season.

“We are first and foremost trying to make it to the NCAA tournament again,” Wagner said. “We have a solid core of returners and some great new players that are very focused on making it to the final four.”

This season, the team will have to deal with the loss of five seniors from last year’s squad.  Two of these players include All-SUNYAC player Makensie Schuber and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Courtney Szczesniak, who were both important members of the team.  Szczesniak is now a member of Wagner’s coaching staff looking to train the team’s next defensive star.

Someone looking to step up this year will be senior defender Cassandra Minerd.  After having an impressive season of her own, making the All-SUNYAC list, Minerd will be tapped to fill the void left by Szczesniak.

Senior attacker and offensive powerhouse Kelly Wall will also be expected to make her usual impact this season. Wall is coming off of an 88-point season with 57 goals, 31 assists and first team All-SUNYAC honors.

Having been picked top-ten in preseason polls, the team will be under extra pressure to perform at their usual high level.

“Every team we play against is going to be gunning for us,” Wagner said. “The team is really tough and motivated so I’m excited to see how they respond.”

As they take the field in 2017, the Golden Eagles look to avenge last season’s losses to Cortland in the SUNYAC Tournament championship, as well as their third-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.  However, Coach Wagner is not thinking that far ahead just yet.

“I really just want to keep getting better every day and let the big picture take care of itself,” Wagner said.

The Golden Eagles’ road back to NCAA Tournament begins Sunday, February 26, when the Golden Eagles take on Denison University in Granville, Ohio.

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