May 3, 2005
Coach Chrissy Lombard has had quite a year. After being named the second head coach in team history last summer, she guided the Colonials to a 13-4 overall record in 2005, its first winning season. During the regular year, GW received votes in the IWLCA poll for the first time and established new team records for goals, assists, and points. She is a nominee for national Coach of the Year honors and she is currently preparing GW for its first appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship. Lombard recently took a break from her preparation to answer a few questions about GW's most successful lacrosse season to date:
For three years you didn't have a winning season and then you go 13-4 in the regular season this year. What clicked for this team in 2005?
"I think it was just the overall experience that this team possesses. The seniors this year have been with the program for four years. They were here right from the start and they've worked so hard to go from 4-12 that first season (2002) to where they are now. I attribute a lot of our success this season to how hard they've worked and what they've put into the program from Day 1."
What have those nine outgoing seniors meant to the program?
"They've been our heart and soul. They've gone through a lot of lows and some highs and have always stuck with it. They believed every day that we were going to get better and they played hard even when we were being beaten pretty badly. They kept fighting right to the very end and that's something that I can't teach. That's a characteristic that comes from within. It's a testament to the kind of players and people they have become."
What has been the most difficult part of starting a varsity program?
"I would say recruiting. We are in an area that has some of the best college lacrosse teams in nation. Teams like Maryland and Virginia. They draw a lot of the top talent, so we need to work harder and find kind of the `diamonds in the rough.' The school sells itself with so much to offer, being in Washington, DC, I need to just try and sell the lacrosse side of things, so we can get the athletes in here we need to make it to the next level."
What's it like knowing that you've qualified for the Atlantic 10 Championship for the first time and have a chance at the NCAA Tournament?
"I'm very excited, especially this being my first year as a head coach. I try and keep telling them (the players), especially the seniors, this is why we work so hard. I want them to be able to experience things like the (conference) awards banquet and have them realize that their hard work has finally paid off. Hopefully, we'll go on from there. The NCAA Tournament is a great event and I know it would be a big thrill to get there. It would be something they'll always remember."
What are your thoughts on the match-up with Duquesne on the first day of the A-10 Tournament?
"It's going to be a hard fought game because we match up well with each other. They are very tough on draw controls. Ginger Flocco is very good at gaining possession of the ball and their attack is really their strength. They have some real scoring threats that know how to put the ball in the net, but if we win some draw controls and keep the ball away from them I think we have a great chance. We lost to them by a goal in overtime in the regular season, and it's hard to beat a team twice, so we have that going for us too."
What does it mean to be one of the nominees for national Coach of the Year?
"It's exciting. It's nice to know that my name is even mentioned for it because it was something I definitely didn't expect. I guess it also means I'm finally doing something right (laughs). Seriously though, it's nice to be recognized because a lot of times you work so hard and you wonder if anybody notices. It just goes to show what can happen if you continue to work hard. Hopefully this won't be a one-year thing. We can build on this season for the future."