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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Lacrosse looks to improve under second-year head coach

Lexi Critchett | Staff Photographer
Graduate transfer Desiree Kleberg fights off three RMU defenders.

Lacrosse sits at 2-4 early in its 2024 campaign, with a revived squad of five new freshmen and four transfers.

Last season, the team placed fifth in the Atlantic 10, going 6-12 overall and 5-4 in conference play. The Revs fell to Davidson 15-5 in the A-10 Championship semifinal during the 2023 postseason. 

GW took down Howard 21-7 in this season’s Feb. 9 home debut. Seven players scored for the Revs as the squad outscored the Bison by double digits just 20 minutes into the game.

The Revs then met Canisius College at Mount Vernon Campus Field on Feb. 11, falling 11-6. The loss catalyzed a four-game skid, with other defeats coming at the hands of UMBC, American and William & Mary. GW has since righted the ship, beating Robert Morris 16-9 Saturday. 

Head Coach Colleen McCaffrey joined the program last year. According to McCaffrey, the team centered their 2023 season around setting new standards and rebuilding culture under new leadership.

“The team is in a good spot, but we’re not great yet,” McCaffrey said. “We need to continue to push each other daily to get to that great spot.” 

McCaffrey served as the associate head coach at Bryant for one season in 2022 before joining the Revolutionaries. She also spent five seasons nearby at the University of Virginia as an offensive coordinator before her stint at Bryant.

While the team added five freshmen and four transfers, it lost star player Kerry McKeever who graduated last season. McKeever led the team with 48 goals and 53 points. McKeever started all 18 games in her last season playing for the Revs and commanded both ends of the field as a midfielder. 

“With graduation, we lost five of our top six goal-scorers from last year,” McCaffrey said. “So we definitely had openings on offense. So what we did was a little bit of a change offensively to continue to play to each other’s strengths and our current players’ strengths.”

McCaffrey said returning junior attacker Everly Kessler is a leader on the attack. Kessler started in nine of the 14 games she played in last season where she put 22 of 32 attempted shots in the net.

In terms of leadership within the offensive end, Everly Kessler, she’s also a junior, she stepped up big time from last year,” McCaffrey. “She’s one of the returning offensive players.

GW also added graduate transfers Emma Nowakowski from High Point University and Desiree Kleberg from Quinnipiac University to their roster. Kleberg has filled an offensive position on the team, adjusting quickly to her new environment as a captain on the team. 

She is a transfer from Quinnipiac and has really stepped into a role of a dodger on our team and a goal scorer, McCaffrey said. So she stepped up in that, in a leadership role as a captain as well. But Desiree and Emma have been two great additions, in terms of anchors on the offense and really stepping into a goalscoring role.

Senior Phoebe Mullarkey leads the team in goals and points with 15 and 16, respectively. Mullarkey suffered an injury that took her off the field for most of last season, returning to the field against Howard this year. Junior midfielder Haley Bolton tops the team as a feeder, tallying five assists.

The Revs implemented a new offensive set this season, looking to attack the net in ways different from what opponents saw last year. McCaffrey also places a strong emphasis on winning draws and maintaining possession.

“Our strength right now is our defensive unit,” McCaffrey said. “So our defensive unit essentially all came back and they’re playing really strong and really well together right now.”

Returning defenders include junior Katie Hipp, a three-year starter on the defensive end, and sophomores Stella Ray and Parker Cranz. McCaffrey said Ray and Cranz have adapted to challenges in the backfield while supporting the team as strong, athletic defenders. Ray leads the team with nine caused turnovers and 34 draw controls. 

“As a coach, I’m really excited by the group,” McCaffrey said. “I do think that they have bought into not just myself but my staff and the energy that we bring every day, and I think that that’s something that they feed off of. They’re excited to be at practice and to get better. And that’s really all you can ask for from a coach’s perspective.”

GW will face off against St. Bonaventure in their first conference game of the season March 8. The Revolutionaries will then face off against their local A-10 opponents, George Mason, on March 30 and VCU on April 6. The Revs beat the Patriots 13-11 in their last matchup but have an all-time record of 6-15 against the Patriots.

For now, GW looks to hit their stride on the road against Old Dominion on March 5 at 1 p.m. 

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