Amanda Seekamp is a living, breathing example of a coach’s dream.
The East Hampton product was asked by Hofstra lacrosse coach Shannon Smith to switch from midfield to defense after the Pride went 3-13 last season.
“Whether it’s play defense — or anything — I’ll do whatever is best for the team,” said Seekamp, who was named 2017 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) preseason honorable mention. “Last year is in the past. Now, I’m focused on this year.”
Now, the junior defender has new goals, namely, helping stop goals after the Pride allowed a CAA-high 13.6 goals a game last season.
“She’s one of those hardworking kids who gives 110 percent on the field,” Smith said, “and will do whatever you ask her to do.”
Seekamp will anchor a defensive unit in front of sophomore goalie Maddie Fields, who went 2-3 in five starts. Their first test will come Feb. 18 in the opener at Bucknell.
Smith and Co. will count on sophomore Lexi Lenaghan, who was second in goals (18) and points (26) a year ago, and senior and former West Hempstead standout Becky Conto (10 goals, 3 assists and 27 draw controls in ’16) to lead the attack.
“This season there are seven players on the field that can score,” Lenaghan said. “There’s no pressure on anyone of us.”
There might not be pressure, but there will be a time element for Hofstra — and all Division I women’s teams — this season. The NCAA has instituted a new 90-second shot clock.
“We want to be a run-and-gun team,” Lenaghan said. “We want to transition fast, attack fast, and do everything on the field fast.”
Hofstra was voted sixth out of seven teams in the CAA preseason coaches’ poll.
“In order to be the best you have to play best,” said Smith, who grew up in West Babylon. “The CAA is a tough conference, and every game is a backyard brawl.”
The Pride should be well-prepared for those CAA battles with six games against teams that reached the 2016 NCAA Tournament, including Wagner, Maryland, Johns Hopkins, CAA foes James Madison and Towson, and Stony Brook on April 28 in the Pride’s regular-season finale.
“When you have a season like last year, it shocked all of us,” said Smith, in her fifth season. “But I wouldn’t trade it because we learned a lot. We’ll never forget that year, and we’ll never allow it to happen again.”