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Women's Lacrosse: Schwarzmann 'anxious' to begin Mount career

Women's Lacrosse: Schwarzmann 'anxious' to begin Mount career
Stanford, CA - February 22, 2014. Stanford Women's Lacrosse vs. Harvard at Cagan Field. Stanford wins 14-10.. - Original Credit: Shirley Pefley/stanfordphoto.com (Shirley Pefley, HANDOUT)

Lauren Schwarzmann's head coaching career should have already started.

The Mount St. Mary's women's lacrosse team was scheduled to host St. Bonaventure on Wednesday, but it was postponed because of snow.

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"The weather put a little damper on the start of our season," Schwarzmann joked. "But in all seriousness, we're anxious and excited to get ready."

The 2004 Century High School graduate has served as an assistant coach for San Diego St. and Stanford the past three seasons after a standout playing career at Johns Hopkins. Now, she'll try to help the Mountaineers rebound from a tough season a year ago, beginning with today's game at UMBC at 11 a.m., weather-permitting.

The good thing for Schwarzmann is the Mount has a large number of returning players from last year's squad, including six starters, that went 3-13 and 2-5 in Northeast Conference play.

"We've been working really hard this preseason," Schwarzmann said. "I think with the weather, it gets long, especially when your game gets postponed and pushed back. They're just eager to get out there and play a game."

When Schwarzmann was hired to lead the Mount last July, the school's president, Dr. Thomas H. Powell, expressed the excitement the school had in bringing in the former U.S. National Team player.

"She not only brings experience, skill and passion for the game, but her sense of values and commitment to student welfare and the overall development of student athletes is what we look for in a coach," Powell said in a statement. "I am very confident that she will lead the team to excellence both on the field and in their academic pursuits."

Schwarzmann helped Stanford go 28-11 in her two seasons as an assistant coach with the Cardinal, including the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win. She ranks 12th all-time in Hopkins history with 118 career points and helped the Blue Jays reach the NCAA Tournament twice.

The Mount's new coach said the strength of the team this year will be the defensive unit, where the Mount returns senior Melissa Cox and sophomore Alex Carhart (Manchester Valley) as starters on the backline. Schwarzmann added that Cox is the "backbone" of MSM's defense.

The Mountaineers also return their starting goalie, junior Steph Rurkowski.

"I am really excited," Schwarzmann said. "I think more anxious than anything because you never know what your team's going to look like until they're tested with a real team."

On the offensive end, the Mount returns its second-leading scorer from last season in Erin Seipp (17 goals, six assists in 2014).

The Mountaineers were selected fifth in the NEC preseason coaches poll. While it's Schwarzmann's first year at the Mount, her younger sister, Katie, a 2009 Century grad, is entering her second season as an assistant.

While the Mountaineers are looking to rebound from a tough season last year, Schwarzmann said she just wants to see improvement in her first season at the helm.

"There's just a lot of uncertainty when we go out right now," Schwarzmann said. "But at the same time, I'm excited to just watch them compete and hope that with every day and every game, we'll continue to get better and better."

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Reach staff writer Jake Rill at 410-857-7875 or jake.rill@carrollcountytimes.com.

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