The Drew University Women’s Lacrosse team is hoping to make Landmark Conference playoffs again this season. Last year, their season ended with a 16-2 loss to Catholic in the first round of Landmark Conference playoffs. The Rangers are currently enjoying a three game winning streak after an exciting 19-16 victory over Elizabethtown last Saturday. The team is 8-4 overall and has a 2-1 record in Landmark Conference play. This record puts the Rangers in a four team tie for second place.
Lauren Cassella (‘21) is a freshman standout on the women’s lacrosse team. She also plays on the women’s soccer team during the fall season. The two sport athlete has become a leader and one of the go-to players for the Rangers this season. Cassella plays attack and leads the team in scoring. “I like to utilize my speed to help me score in a variety of ways and pass to my teammates for assists,” Cassella said. With 42 goals so far this season, Cassella is ranked fourth in the conference. She also leads the team in shots, shots on goal, free position goals and free position percentage. Cassella is also ranked fifth for overall points (52) and second for shots taken (99) in conference standings.
“I like the offensive part of the game the best, but I really want to be involved on both sides of the ball,” she said. She wants to keep expanding her game to make the team better. “During the off-season I’m going to focus on improving my stick skills and working on using my left hand so I can help the team more next season.”
When asked why she chose to attend Drew, Cassella said, “I wanted to go somewhere close to home where I was able to play two sports in college and I really like how all my teammates share a common interest with me. It allowed me to form close friendships with my teammates the minute I stepped on campus.” She lives nearby, just 40 minutes from the Drew campus in Edison, NJ.
When describing the challenges she faces being a student athlete, Cassella says, “The hardest part has been managing my time to get my homework done along with my practices for soccer in the fall and then lacrosse in the spring. I try to get as much of my homework done during the day.”
Cassella has a plan for her life after Drew, as well. “My plan is to major in business and minor in psychology or law,” Casella said, and then went on to add, “I’m really interested in incorporating sports with business for a potential career after school.”
In order to stay involved in the Drew community outside of academics and athletics, Cassella participates in activities and spends time with her friends. “I enjoy going to language clubs and hanging out with my teammates during my down time,” she said. Another aspect of Drew that brought Cassella to campus is the proximity to New York City. “Sometimes me and my friends go to New York City to walk around and hangout. It’s nice because of how close we are to the city.”
This 2018 Rangers team is filled with a lot of young talent including seven freshman on the roster and just two graduating seniors. “My ultimate goal is to win the Landmark Conference title and I think we can accomplish that in the next couple of years,” Cassella said. Nearly all of the starting lineup will be returning next season. The rest of this year will serve as a test for this young team as they seek a bid to the Landmark Conference playoffs.
The women’s lacrosse team has four more regular season games left, and will be back in action Saturday, April 14, at home against Moravian at 12 p.m.