Developing a CSAC competing team

By Angelina Miller
November 3, 2016

CSAC Team Article Ang Miller
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In order to build a successful CSAC competing team, one would typically think the goal of winning should be front and center of every athlete as he or she walks onto a field or court at the beginning of a game. However, according to Steve Colfer, the head coach of Cabrini University’s lacrosse team, sports teams come together and become championship winning teams by never talking about winning.

“We focus on winning by never talking about it,” Colfer said in reference to Cabrini’s Lacrosse team. “Focusing on the process, taking it step by step and not assuming things to be done because they were done in the past is what creates a winning culture and program.”

From women’s cross country, field hockey, soccer, tennis and volleyball, to men’s cross country and soccer, Cabrini University’s fall sports are currently hitting the peak of their seasons. This more so entails that all of these teams are currently going up against other teams from small, private, four-year colleges in eastern Pennsylvania though, to compete for titles in the Colonial States Athletic Conference.

Since its creation early 1990’s, CSAC has given recognition to the importance of intercollegiate athletics in an educational setting and increased institutional support without compromising academic integrity.

Since then, honorable teams have been given the responsibility of representing that recognition respectfully and proudly. However, it is truly up to collegiate athletic directors and coaches to recruit players that can be puzzle pieces to the big picture of CSAC reigning teams.

“Every coach looks for different things in the players they recruit,” Orlin Jespersen, Cabrini’s associate director of athletics said. “Some will look for speed, some will look for power. But kids who will be successful as students and athletes are the ones who are the right fit for Cabrini and our athletic program.”

While recruitment may be a challenge or trigger nerves for some coaches, coach Colfer thinks of the adjustment to new faces as one of the best parts of his job.

“If recruiting is handled the right way, it can be the most exciting piece of putting that entity out onto a field,” Colfer said. “Of course there are some kids you wish you could keep forever, but you have to understand that similar men will shortly follow them.”

With the constant rotation of new faces and personalities, a coach must also make sure their team knows how to build chemistry to come together and thrive in their endeavors both on and off of a field or court.

“Some do it with a lot of team building, like a rope’s course or other team bonding activities,” Jespersen said. “Others do it less formally by just spending off-court time together through team dinners and such.”

According to Patrick Regan, a senior business management major and attack player for Cabrini’s lacrosse team, a team truly comes together by simply taking the initiative to spend time together off of a field.

“My teammates and I mainly hang out outside of school at each others houses or just around Cabrini, playing basketball and what not in our free time; that’s what really builds us up as a team,” Regan said.

Through recruitment, the adjustment of new players from season to season, and consistent team bonding, Cabrini sports teams seem to have the formula of building teams that can earn CSAC titles down to a simple science. Players are prepared to take on challenges as the difficulty of competition continuously rises over the years.

In the eyes of the athletic directors, Cabrini’s athletic teams have done a good job with putting together challenging schedules.

“We work hard to play tough competition both in and out of conference, and to seek out regional and national competition,” Jespersen said. “It pays for players to compete at a higher level, because they only get better by playing the best.”

By pushing playing the best teams available, Cabrini’s fall sports teams have already pushed themselves to obtain numerous CSAC titles. This year, women’s field hockey is going for their 9th consecutive title, with women’s field hockey closely behind going for their 6th.

Cabrini women’s volleyball is also going for their 5th consecutive CSAC title. Senior business administration major and volleyball player Kelly Guarino was named Cabrini’s player of the year for her impressive 431 digs, 50 service aces and 230 kills in the team’s season.

“There’s a lot of pressure on us to defend our title,” Guarino said on her team’s upcoming semifinal match on Thursday, Nov. 2nd. “I’ve been playing since I was a freshman and we’ve won every year since then, so it would be awesome to have this opportunity as a senior. We’re all very motivated to win.”

Cabrini’s men’s lacrosse is also one mere conference win away in the regular season from setting the all time record for men’s lacrosse consecutive conference wins, which stands at 102 and was set by Salisbury University. 

“We have a good group of guys with a lot of talent, which drives the bus,” coach Colfer said . “They like each other, they motivate one another, and you have to have a talented piece of clay to be able to mold a successful team.”

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Angelina Miller

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