New Lacrosse coach builds more than a team

Alexandra Feller , Features Editor

The Linfield Lacrosse program has experienced a negative coach retention rate over the last few seasons. Sean Hansen, stepped down before the start of the 2018 season. She was replaced by Brittany Hartmann who also decided to pursue different job at the end of the season that same year.

Finally, the team has settled with Coach Lindsey Kibler a seemingly permanent fix to the program. She describes extensive plans to transform the program and help the players gain valuable skills.

Kibler has always dreamt of coaching Lacrosse at the collegiate level, and sees this new position as an opportunity to shape and grow the program.

“I want to be a competitive team and work towards being number one in the conference.”

Currently, the team is pre-season ranked to finish as number three in the Northwest Conference showing that their competitive skill has already improved.

Kibler places a strong emphasis on team bonding and facilitates many off-the-field activities for the team.

Sophomore Nathaly Sanchez says at these events players bonded. They also laid out team goals and established important norms for the semester.

“We want to stay motivated, and have more chemistry on and off the field. Leaving our problems at the door when we come to practice and respecting each other is equally important to Coach Kibler and the other players. You have to mesh with your team in order to play well”

Sanchez played Lacrosse last year, and says the team is responding well to their coach new coach. Players know that she is invested and excited to help them grow.

“People are like wow I’m good at this. The team needs me as much as I need them, I am not just a number in the field”

Kibler thinks it is extremely important to develop the whole student athlete, “I want my players to understand that setting goals and working hard to achieve them is something that stretches beyond the field”

Last year, the team finished third in conference, but is striving to work harder this year to improve their skills.

“I’m not saying that we slacked last year, but there were areas where we definitely needed to be pushed harder or held a little more accountable for not putting as much effort” Sanchez says excited to see the team making important strides.

This season, the team will be playing everyone twice in the North Western Conference. Their biggest goal, according to Kibler, is to beat the same teams they did last year.

“There is a really strong freshman group that came in, I think they are going to be a pretty big catalyst in helping us move forward” Kibler says with confidence.

Kibler’s biggest concern is recruiting. In the past the Lacrosse program has accepted players with no exposure to lacrosse. Kibler is moving away from this because it limits the team in how competitive they can be.

She recognizes that often players with no past experience still bring valid moral to the team, but they just do not have the needed skills to remain competitive in conference.

The attitude of Division three is one of Kibler’s favorite. Players are not playing on scholarship, they are more motivated by a love for the game.

“I have fun when we are all working hard. I set expectations, and I follow through. It is about the love of the game and if we are not having fun then why play?”