Girls lacrosse (copy)

The Owatonna girls lacrosse team returns to action next week for the first time in nearly two years. (File/southernminn.com)

Owatonna girls lacrosse coach Dani Licht has been very impressed with her athletes thus far this spring.

"The girls are definitely looking really good. All offseason they were texting and emailing me, 'Dani, what is there out there that you can give me to work on?' or 'Do you know of any camps?' Sadly, there weren't a lot of camps, but we at least provided them with a lot of resources to grow. It honestly does not feel like anybody has skipped a beat coming into tryout this season. It's really nice to see."

Licht is entering her first full season as Owatonna's head girls lacrosse coach after what was supposed to be her debut campaign was shuttered before it even began due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She and her staff have spent the majority of the last week or so evaluating the talent on the roster and determining which positions her athletes may find the most success, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

"We have a lot of strong talent on defense...We have a lot of attack players trying out this week, so [we're] trying to narrow down who we're going to have in that spot," Licht said.

Licht will turn to the likes of sophomore Annie Moran and senior captain Grace Smith to help guide the team towards winning waters this spring as well as to help develop a strong, competitive culture among the Husky athletes.

"Honestly, one of our biggest goals is to develop this team with a competitive attitude," Licht said. "We want to step on the field as if we can win no matter who we're going up against. That's the culture we're trying to create this year."

The majority of the Owatonna girls lacrosse athletes are teammates in other sports, particularly tennis and cross-country, a background that is rather unusual for lacrosse athletes according to Licht. However, this familiarity with each other will hopefully pay dividends for the Huskies.

"We are very, very big on goals for the season. Obviously, the majority of the varsity team's goal is to win the Big 9. That is something that is 100% our goal for the season," Licht said. "Also one of our biggest goals that we've sat down and identified as coaches is to develop our team as a defensive team. We know that obviously goals going in the net is something that helps us win games, but preventing goals from going into the net is an every bigger thing that helps us win games."

The Huskies open their season in Mankato on Monday, April 19.

SCHEDULE

Monday, April 19 — at Mankato, 6 p.m.

Thursday, April 22 — Northfield, 7:15 p.m.

Monday, April 26 — at Rochester Century, 7:15 p.m.

Thursday, April 29 — Rochester John Marshall, 7:15 p.m.

Saturday, May 1 — Simley, 2 p.m.

Monday, May 3 — at Rochester Mayo, 7:15 p.m.

Thursday, May 6 — at Northfield, 7:15 p.m.

Monday, May 10 — Mankato, 7:15 p.m.

Thursday, May 13 — Rochester Century, 7:15 p.m.

Monday, May 17 — Rochester Mayo, 7:15 p.m.

Thursday, May 20 — at Rochester John Marshall, 7:15 p.m.

Monday, May 24 — New Prague, 7:15 p.m.

Tuesday, May 25 — at Farmington, 7 p.m.

Reach Regional Sports Editor Lucas Seehafer at 507-444-2375. © Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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