Despite Covid, women’s lacrosse gears up for spring season

Alex Bolinger, Contributing Writer

The Bison women’s lacrosse team is excited to begin its 2021 season this spring with plenty of returning experience combined with plenty of young talent. The season is scheduled to kick off on Feb. 27 against La Salle.

Last season, the Bison went 3-5 before the season had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before the season was cut short the Bison posted impressive wins against Sacred Heart, Binghamton and Campbell.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still playing a role in the Patriot League, as the team’s first game against Kent State had to be cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. However, the team is excited to start the season soon once they get the go ahead from the Patriot League and the University.

Head coach Jackie Dando and new assistant coach Kirkland Lewis are both excited to bring new energy and new intensity to the team. Dando is in her second year with the program and is excited to continue to build what she started last season. Before joining the Bison, Dando posted an impressive record as the head coach of Lebanon Valley, where she won over 60 percent of her games. Joining Dando’s staff is new assistant coach Kirkland Lewis, who joined the coaching staff in November of 2020. Coach Lewis will coach the Bison’s defense and head recruiting for the Bison. Before Bison, Lewis was the head coach of Whitman college, and is excited to bring her leadership abilities to Lewisburg and the 2021 Bucknell Bison.

One of the most important returning Bison players is senior Kali Peeples. An attack specialist, Peeples has played a crucial role in the Bison’s offensive attack since she was a sophomore. A two year captain, Peeples had seven goals and two assists in the Bison’s eight games in 2020 including an impressive hat trick against Hofstra. “We are excited and fortunate to have a season this spring and have been working hard for over a year now. With a lot of great talent across all grades that works well together I am excited to see how all our hard work comes together on the field,” Peeples said.

Other important returning players for the Bison include Abby Neff ’22 from Maryland, who will play an important role on the Bison’s defense. Neff led all Bison in ground balls and caused turnovers last season and is hoping to build off that success this season. Junior Laurel McKale is poised to play an important role on the Bison’s offense this season. And to round out the Bison’s offense will be senior Eve Calabria, who started all eight games for the Bison last season. She also led the Bison in goals and assists before the season was cancelled. Calabria is hoping to keep that impressive offensive output for the 2021 season.

The Bison play their first game Feb. 27 against La Salle, but Patriot League competition is set to kick off March 7 in Annapolis, Md. against Navy.

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