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Posts published in “Sports”

Dorau The [Sports] Explorer: Women’s LAX at a Crossroads

Kyle Dorau / Sports Editor

Ombudsman is a position in which complaints, inaccuracies and fairness are part of an overall evaluation of an entity. Most commonly utilized in journalism, it’s a position that every media outlet should have, especially us here at The Recorder.

As an observer of CCSU Athletics, it’s hard not to assess the state of each program. Being in this position as Sports Editor is about as close to being a Blue Devils ombudsman as one can get.

That is what brings me to an evaluation that has been ten years in the making. Something needs to be done about the women’s lacrosse team here at Central.

While this could be considered kicking them while they’re down, it is evident that there is something lacking in the program. Whatever the issue may be, it has firmly implanted itself into what has become an entire decade of losing.

Obviously, growing pains are expected when a sport is introduced at any school. It was no different here at Central, where the team won a single game in each of their first two seasons. Improvement was shown, as CCSU won four games each of the following two seasons. Unfortunately, four victories is the plateau for winning in a single season when it comes to Blue Devils women’s lacrosse.  

Last year, the team went 1-13 overall with a 1-7 record in the Northeast Conference. That lone victory came over an even worse St. Francis (PA) program that just broke a 49-game losing streak this season. The problem is, nearly half of those losses were by ten goals or more. It is clear that this is not a team that was just a couple of good bounces away from contending for a conference championship.

This is the fourth season in the tenure of head coach Rachel Tringali. Currently, the Blue Devils stand at 0-12 following a loss to her alma mater, Monmouth. Her playing career for the Hawks was impressive, to say the least: four-year starter, two years as a captain, was third in the nation in assists in 2000.

But does that success as a player carry over as a coach?  With the results of the last four years, it is enough to make one wonder.  While she helped lead Springfield College to an 11-5 record in 2004 as an interim head coach, there isn’t much of a tangible background to draw from outside of a stellar playing career.

I’m not saying we all rise as one and march up to Kaiser Hall with pitchforks, torches and pink slips.

Earlier this semester, in response to the Jim Calhoun paycheck brouhaha, I wrote, “These coaches, just like the coaches here at CCSU, are motivating the athletes to do their best in every aspect of their lives. The impact of such mentors cannot be measured in a paycheck.” True as that may be, there comes a point where mediocrity and accountability collide.

Make no mistake, a coach’s guidance and influence is an important factor in their profession, but winning is the primary objective. Why has the women’s lacrosse program seemingly regressed in recent years? In what other industry does someone with a success rate of less than 13 percent still have a job?

Whether the team’s inability to win is a problem with the coaching, recruiting or just the athletes themselves, it’s surprising to see that there have not been any changes made.

This is more than just a couple bad seasons.  This is a program that has never reached the postseason. Never finished higher than a tie for fifth in the NEC.  Never had a winning record.  It has been a decade of disappointment.

Building a program has never been easy. Ask any good college coach, and they will tell you it takes hard work and patience. The problem is, the program has been mired in disappointment for ten years now. Four of those years should be enough time to at least see some improvement. The building process is not going as planned.  Maybe it is time for a new architect.