Monmouth University women’s lacrosse team thrives despite pandemic

As with all college sports teams across the country, it has been a long year for the Monmouth University women’s lacrosse team.
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hawks are 4-2 so far this season and were picked to finish first in the MAAC preseason poll.
“Ever since this whole pandemic started last year, it’s been a long year. It’s been a different year. But we’ve certainly developed some skills with flexibility,” says coach Christine Kaestner. “But we’ve always preached patience and kindness. Some days are hard, and some days are fun. But at the end of the day, we’re all together playing for Monmouth.”
The team has to work around scheduling changes for its first four games, including taking a last-minute bus trip to Buffalo, New York with only half of the team.
“The model of this year is ‘expect the unexpected.’ We don’t know if we’re going to have a game tomorrow. We might, so when we come to practice, it’s leaving it all on the field, doing the best we can and being ready any day to play another game,” says senior midfielder Rachel Mills.
The Hawks played eight games in 2020 before the pandemic canceled the season. All five seniors decided to return for a fifth year to see if they could finish what they started.
“Having so many veterans that returned, we fight every day and that is something that I am so lucky and so fortunate to be a part of,” says senior goalie Stephanie Delliturri.
One of those veterans is Nicole Ceraso, the 2019 MAAC offensive player of the year. She says that the team’s positive attitude and adaptability will only help them in the long run.
“That taught me so much about this team. It showed me how resilient we are and how tough we are and that we just need to be able to compete to win the MAAC championship, which is our end goal,” Ceraso says.
Monmouth will play Fairfield University this Thursday at home.