For the ninth consecutive season, The University of Tampa men’s lacrosse team has been selected by the coaches in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) as the number one favorite.
The men’s team received seven first-place votes and they are expected to win the regular season once again.
UT’s women’s lacrosse team came in at third in the preseason coaches poll, close behind Rollins in second and Florida Southern in first.
This year, the men’s team is led by Jeremy Clarke, who is new to the program. The men’s team also has three assistant coaches including Adam Hardy, Scott Bramble, and Mark Penn. Hardy joined the coaching staff in 2021, with Bramble and Penn coming in 2022. Excitement is growing as the team enters the 2022 season with all relatively new coaches.
“Our focus throughout the fall and pre-season has been on the following: Strength, conditioning, depth, and becoming the best teammates we are capable of becoming,” said Clarke.
The men’s team is facing a total of 16 regular season games, traveling to places like Georgia and North Carolina to showcase their talents and hard work.
The team is satisfied with their number one ranking, and look forward to maintaining this status throughout the entirety of the season.
Ryan Kindel, a sophomore member of the lacrosse team, has worked hard with his teammates in preparation of the season ahead.
“Coach Clarke had us complete something called ‘the program’ as a team on our first day returning to practice,” said Kindel. “It was a military oriented team building and workout course. It helped us function as a unit, and hold each other accountable.”
Kindel spoke highly of the team’s preseason poll ranking, with excitement and courage towards the team’s connotation among the other Sunshine State Conference teams.
“For years now the standard of Tampa men’s Lacrosse has been to be the best we can be, and dominate the Spartan way,” said Kindel. “This isn’t our first time being ranked number one in the SSC preseason polls, and it’s definitely not the last time it will be.”
As for the women’s team, Kelly Gallagher is the head coach for the 10th season in a row. Caili Guilday has been one of the assistant coaches since 2018. Hillary Hamm has been coaching since 2021. After coming off of a 7-3 season last year, the ladies are busy preparing for their first game.
Women’s assistant coach Guilday was a lacrosse player at UT herself, graduating in 2016 and working as a coach for girls in lacrosse of all ages. Prior to coaching at UT, women’s assistant coach Hailey Hamm coached at William & Mary in Virginia.
The ladies have their first regular season game against Alabama-Huntsville in Tampa on Feb. 13. Similar to the men, the women’s team has 16 regular season games before the championship season begins in May.
The Spartans are looking forward to the season, with new men’s Coach Clarke, and long-standing Women’s Coach Gallagher.