UNH women’s lacrosse: A new era begins for the Wildcats


Joey Rizzi, Sports Writer

DURHAM, N.H. – Bouncing back from a disappointing year is no small challenge, but University of New Hampshire (UNH) women’s lacrosse head coach Kacie Lewis is ready for it in her first year. The Wildcats finished with a 4-7 record last season but are poised to move past their woes and focus on the task at hand, an America East Championship.  

“I think that first year, it’s just a big shift of everyone learning and getting to know one another”, says Lewis.  

Lewis was hired last summer to take over a squad that is losing three of its top four scorers from a year ago. She understands the growing pains that this group will go through, but given her coaching experience and motivation, there seems to be no one better to revitalize the program.  

Previously at Bryant, Lewis served as associate head coach with primary responsibilities on the defensive side of the ball.  

“I do take a lot of pride in having a little bit more of an aggressive, kind-of shut down defense,” explained Lewis. 

She went on to describe how her experience with defense and goalies has helped her understand the totality of the game better. There’s a clear confidence in her understanding and knowledge of the game that should show in the team’s play.  

They’ll rely on scoring from junior Liv Dunn, their top remaining scorer from a season ago. Dunn tallied 21 points in 11 games in 2021. Defensively, they shouldn’t skip a beat; senior goaltender Issy Torres will mind the net for her third consecutive year, while two senior defensemen return for the ‘Cats.  

Something to look out for is how they play in the transition game. UNH is deep at the midfield position with returners such as seniors Delaney Pratt, Emily Curtis and Adena Rothbard among others. This group will rely on their speed and athleticism to keep them in games. 

With Lewis explaining that they aim to be fast and physical defensively, expect the Wildcats to be quick off clears and run in transition. A team that dominates ground balls and scores goals in transition will always gain an edge on their opponents. 

The Wildcats begin their season with multiple home games against very tough opponents in Siena and Dartmouth. UNH projects as the sixth ranked team in the America East according to the Preseason Coaches’ Poll, but it hardly carries accuracy as we’ve seen in recent history.  

Heading into game one, Siena comes to Wildcat Stadium looking for a hot start to their season. Coach Lewis noted they’ve put plenty of hours of preparation into this contest.  

“Focusing on executing all the details of our gameplan” will be the key to victory in the game, said Lewis.  

Whether or not they execute will come to fruition on Saturday, Feb. 12. The Wildcats will look to win their opening game for a third consecutive year against a hungry group that finished second in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) conference a season ago.  

Photo courtesy of UNH Athletics