Hughes Leads Young Core of Lacrosse Players

When a player has an outstanding rookie season, there can be a lot of pressure to try and duplicate that success.

Sophomore Lindsay Hughes, however, attacker for the women’s lacrosse team who led all players in the New Jersey Athletic Conference last season with 93 goals in 17 games, and was named to the NJAC and Skyline conference First Team All Conference Teams, hopes to do just that.

“Coming in, I had specific goals that wherever I played lacrosse in college I wanted to meet. Last year was really unexpected, and I really didn’t expect to win all those awards,” Hughes said.

In her freshman year, Hughes’ 93 goals set a new season high record for an individual in Ramapo women’s lacrosse.

However, Hughes and her coach, Jane Koeniges, know that teams will now be well aware of Hughes’ skill on the turf and will play her much closer defensively.

“This year I am sure teams will key up on her, so we need to be a balanced attack and she will still get her assist and scoring opportunities,” Koeniges said.

The communications major and graduate of Delaware Valley Regional High School in Milford, N.J. is just one of the many young skilled players on the 2014 roster.

Sophomore Lacey Gruendling is one of the team’s many young players who Hughes said has shown great improvement and will be looked up to this season. She also named freshman Katie Duca as a strong defender with potential to become a leader in the back end. 

“We have a lot of freshmen that definitely have huge potential,” Hughes said.  

The strength of this young team will come from its upperclassmen captains, seniors Michelle Gustafson and Teresa Gustafson, and junior Reagan Vier, who will be relied on to show the young players the way.

 “I think the seniors do a good job of working with the freshmen and always being there for any kind of guidance that they need,” Hughes said. “They’re able to lead them through showing them the reigns of how to play at the level that we’re at.”

Coach Koeniges would be thrilled if the seniors could lead the team’s newest players to be as successful as Hughes was in her rookie year.

“She is a special lacrosse talent but being able to step in her first year and mentally and emotionally be able to be that key player was remarkable,” Koeniges said of Hughes.

In a recent poll by the seven women’s lacrosse coaches in the NJAC, Ramapo was picked to finish fifth in the conference. Hughes said that the poll was based off of last year, and that the Roadrunners will have a chance to surprise a lot of teams with several new faces on the roster.

“I think other teams go into games playing us thinking it’s an easy win, but as a team we are really determined and we all respect our coach so highly that we want to win games for her, especially because of all the hard work she puts in,” Hughes said. “We’ve been playing together a month now and you can already tell we kind of look more as a team even with new players.”