When Lauren Schwarzmann took over as Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse coach in July, the main goal she instilled in her players was to get better every day. Initially, the Mountaineers' record didn't reflect that as they started off 1-9 after finishing 3-13 in 2014.
Still, some of the scores were much closer, including a 5-4 loss to UMBC after falling to the Retrievers, 15-2, last season. They also lost to Columbia, 10-7, after an 11-0 loss to the Lions last season.
The Mountaineers lost their first Northeast Conference game to Wagner and then the improvements began to show in the final scores. They won four straight games for the first time since 2011 and clinched a berth in the NEC Tournament after missing out last season.
"Through the losses that we took in the early games — that first season as we call it — we talked about wining and as coaches we had that expectation to win," said Schwarzmann, a Century and Johns Hopkins graduate whose assistant coach is her sister, Katie Schwarzmann, the two-time Tewaaraton Award winner at Maryland.
"We told them we still wanted them to get better every day, but they should never be OK with losing and we stuck with that mentality through every practice. We always expected to win whether they did or not. I think that boded well for their confidence. We're teaching them what it feels like to win, but we want them to get better and better. We want to win the NEC Tournament."
One of the keys to turning things around has been the senior class, Lauren Schwarzmann said. The Mountaineers have just four seniors — Melissa Cox (John Carroll), Erin Seipp (Notre Dame Prep), Megan Gluck and Hayley Tomlinson. All scored goals in their final home game on Senior Day, an 18-6 win over conference foe LIU-Brooklyn Sunday.
"I'm just really proud of our seniors," Schwarzmann said. "As a coach, coming into a new team where you don't know the dynamic, I credit our four seniors tremendously because they right away bought into everything, our philosophy and our goals. They're the leaders of the team and they're a great extension of us. It will be sad to see them go, but they paved the way for the underclassmen and everything that comes next."
One of the main things boosting the Mountaineers (5-9) is goal production. After 14 games last season, they had scored just 90 goals. This season, they have 132 and only one of their top four scorers is a senior — Seipp, who is second on the team with 22 goals and nine assists.
Freshman Nicole Lantuh leads the team in scoring with 23 goals and 12 assists. Last season, the team had a total of 26 assists. Sophomore Kelly Maloney (River Hill) is third with 25 goals and five assists while sophomore Sammie Knapp (Loch Raven) is fourth with 22 goals and five assists.
The Mountaineers finish their season with a road trip to Central Connecticut State Friday and Bryant Sunday before preparing for the NEC tournament, which begins May 1 at the highest seed.
Remenapp now second on Division I career assists list
Denver senior Jill Remenapp moved into second place on the Division I all-time assists list when she dished out seven in Sunday's 16-5 win over St. Mary's to bring her career total to 184. The Century graduate leads the Pioneers in assists this season with 31 and in points with 48.
Remenapp passed Jen Adams' 178 assists during her Maryland career and trails only Northwestern's Hannah Nielsen, who dished out 224 between 2006 and 2009. As a sophomore, Remenapp had 74 assists, which is also second all-time for a single season total. Nielsen had 83 as a senior.
Salisbury keeps rolling in the CAC
Salisbury completed its 13th straight undefeated season in the Capital Athletic Conference with last week's 19-5 win over Marymount. This weekend, the two-time defending Division III national champion will go for a 15th CAC tournament title since 2000.
The No. 9 Sea Gulls last lost a CAC game on March 19, 2003, and have won 111 straight games against CAC opponents, including 86 regular-season games, a Division III record for consecutive conference victories.
Salisbury, which finished 8-0 in the conference and is 12-3 overall, will host Mary Washington in the CAC semifinals Saturday. The Sea Gulls won the regular-season meeting 16-3.
Maryland's Taylor Cummings (McDonogh) ranks second in Division I in total points with 77. … Terps freshman Megan Whittle (McDonogh) is tied for fourth in goals with 55. ... Loyola Maryland's Annie Thomas (John Carroll) is third in assists with 41 and fourth in assists per game with 2.56. … Johns Hopkins goalie KC Emerson is fourth in goals-against average (6.25) and Maryland's Alex Fitzpatrick is fifth (6.43). Emerson is fourth in save percentage (.512). … Salisbury freshman Gianna Falcone leads Division III in goals-against average (5.12) and is third in save percentage (.559).