Episode No. 137 of the On The Banks podcast is our NCAA Tournament preview for Rutgers women’s lacrosse. The Scarlet Knights (15-4) are headed to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament and will face St. Joseph’s (14-6) in the First Round. The game will be played at Stony Brook on Friday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m. The winner of this matchup will face the winner of Stony Brook-Drexel on Sunday, May 15.
The No. 11 ranked Scarlet Knights finished the regular season with have already won a program record 15 victories this season, a No. 7 RPI ranking and five wins over ranked foes. They’ll face St. Joseph’s, a team that just won the Atlantic-10 Tournament Championship and have won seven of their last eight games.
To preview the matchup and discuss the historic season so far, we welcome head coach Melissa Lehman and All-American Meghan Ball.
Earlier this week, Lehman was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. She has led the program to its best ever finish in the Big Ten and a first ever trip to the Big Ten Championship game. The Scarlet Knights earned its highest ranked win ever last week with a 13-5 win over No. 4 Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
Meghan Ball along with teammate Cassidy Spilis were the program’s first ever unanimous First Team All-Big Ten Selections. In addition, Ball was named a Third Team All-American by USA Lacrosse Magazine. She is the leader of a defense that is ranked 18th nationally in scoring defense and caused turnovers.
Topics discussed this episode include Lehman’s insight on the progress made this season, the impact of certain players, the non-conference schedule preparing this team for the postseason, the importance of starting strong in Friday’s NCAA Tournament game and much more. With Ball, she discusses why she believed Rutgers could have the level of success this team is having, how Lehman has led the program forward, the development of goalkeeper Sophia Cardello, what the focus needs to be to have success this weekend in the NCAA’s and much more.
Thanks so much to head coach Melissa Lehman and Meghan Ball for taking time out of their busy schedules to discuss the season so far and the challenge ahead in the postseason. And thank you for listening!
(Editor’s Note: A podcast preview for Rutgers men’s lacrosse with head coach Brian Brecht and five year starter Ryan Gallagher will be published on Thursday.)
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