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September 25, 2023

Clemson lacrosse’s eyes ‘set on the championship’ ahead of first season

Anne Marie Lessig // Asst. Sports Editor

The Clemson women’s lacrosse team will play its first ever game on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Historic Riggs Field.

The first media day for Clemson’s inaugural lacrosse team took place at Riggs Field on Wednesday, and Clemson is ready to compete for a national title.

Attacker Gianna New, defender Mallory Martel, midfielder Marina Miller and head coach Allison Kwolek discussed their preparation for the season and how confident they are that they will pose a threat to competitors in the ACC.

Clemson is known to have a certain standard in the athletic world, and New is embracing it. She is a firm believer that the Tigers will shock people, even though the novice team hasn’t even played a game yet.

“They think maybe we will win a game or two, but our eyes are set on the championship,” New said. “We know that we can compete will all of the top teams.”

The Tigers were picked last in the 2023 ACC Preseason Coaches Poll, but New isn’t letting the doubters affect her and the team and views their low placement as an opportunity to prove their worth.

“Seeing where we are now and seeing where we finish the season, a lot of people are going to be shocked, so we have a chip on our shoulder,” New added.

The word grit is something these girls have taken to heart, and in line with the Clemson standard of excellence, “gritty” seems the best way to describe the team’s playing style. They believe their aggressive play is what will set them apart from the competition.

Head coach Allison Kwolek moved to Clemson for the opportunity to compete at a higher level after eight years at the University of Richmond. The process of building a team from scratch does not come easy, and Kwolek is ready and confident to showcase her roster.

“A lot of people, when they think of the new program, think that it is going to take them years to be at a high level,” said Kwolek. “We want to be competitive right away.”

The melting pot of freshmen, transfers and graduates will have their first-ever draw against Wofford on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EST. 

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Anne Marie Lessig, Asst. Sports Editor
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