Robert Morris Women’s Lacrosse’s Tough Non-Conference Schedule Headlines 2023 Season


The Colonials are MAC Preseason favorites and look to overcome the MAC Championship game loss to Central Michigan in 2022 Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

Cameron Macariola

As the new season rapidly approaches, the Robert Morris women’s lacrosse team aim to reclaim the throne and sit atop of the Mid-American Conference once again.

While last season did not end the way in the Colonials’ favor falling in three of their final four games including a loss to Central Michigan in the MAC championship game. The Colonials will use those losses as a lesson and push them as motivations.

“We don’t want to feel the way we felt last year,” senior captain Kelsey Nelson said. “We have a wide variety of girls on the team, and a lot of girls who were on the 2021 team, so we know what it takes to win and we’re definitely using last year as motivation.”

The Colonials, once again, are slated for a tough non-conference schedule that in hopes, prepares the team to be their best when it comes to MAC play.

“I think we have some really high hopes for what we want to do.” head coach Katrina Silva said. “We are playing a really difficult non-conference schedule to make sure we are the champions of the MAC again.”

Robert Morris will be seeing a lot of familiar opponents in their non-conference schedule, as five of their first six games are rematches from last season. Including Ohio State, Cincinnati, Bucknell, UMBC, and Canisius. As well as a team they faced twice in 2021 in Notre Dame later in the season.

“It will help us out. It will give us a little more grit going into each game because we’ve seen them once before, so we’ll play our best and prepare extra,” senior attacker Jerica Obee said.

Coach Katrina Silva enters her sixth season as head coach of the Robert Morris program and has set the standard for the team and their expectations for the upcoming season.

“She has a pretty high expectation for all of us each practice,” senior captain Colleen TIfft said. “When we don’t meet that she’ll let us know, and we usually come out the next day better.”

During the 2022 campaign, the Colonials were led by a youth movement but as the team gathered a year of experience, the wide variety of veteran leadership and fresh faces creates an equal balance for Silva’s squad.

“That’s the exciting part as a coach,” Silva said. “One year of growing, what a different team we are and that’s exciting. Everyone’s got to keep growing and doing their part. You don’t win because you have a couple of talented players, you win because have a talented team.

The Robert Morris youth movement was led by leading goal scorer Jenna Irwin, but the Colonials will be without her services to start the season as she continues to recover from a lower-body injury suffered at the end of last season.

“It stinks. If you lose anyone on the team, it stinks,” Silva said. “Jenna will be back, it’s a matter of time, but in the meantime, we’ve seen other people step up and that’s what is really important. That we’re not a one-person team. We’re a team of 34 and we’re talented.”

The Colonials will begin their season at the same spot as last year as they travel into Columbus to take on the Buckeye. The fact they face a large opponent does not steer the team from its end goal.

“I think you know what to expect. You know Ohio State is going to be aggressive, they’re big, their fast, they’re strong,” Silva said. “There’s been years where we kept that game much closer, and if we use our strengths, that should be a close game.”

“We’re really excited to be playing Ohio State,” Nelson said. “We’re going to be the first team to play in their new facility, which is exciting and sets us up for success for our season.”

Opening day is swiftly coming upon the Colonials and the hard work and preparation of the team will be on display. The young team hopes to blossom into another season of MAC dominance and all hands are on deck to reclaim the title.