After achieving the honor of being named Little East Conference Rookie of the Year, Keene State College sophomore Jenna Bellano is continuing her success for the women’s lacrosse team this season.
In regard to her transition after last year, she explained how her team lost a lot of key pieces and contributors.
“I thought I had to step up, or my coach made me think I had to step up a little bit because we lost a lot of main scorers,” Bellano said.
Furthermore, junior member of the women’s lacrosse team, Laura Gendreau, stated how Bellano has really grown and developed since last year.
“I think she has gained a lot of confidence on the field since her freshmen year. She has also gotten a lot smarter in recognizing when to take a drive or a shot and when to pull the ball back out and swing it around,” Gendreau added.
In addition to this, another teammate of Bellano’s, junior Natalie Barnett, said that Bellano is a great player and teammate. She explained that Bellano has the ability to step up to any challenge.
When asked about her role on the team this year, Bellano said, “I’m definitely not the leading type at all. I’m very shy. Kaitlyn Nolan is more of the leader role. I’m quiet, but I can see a lot of things on the field.” She continued, “I try to lead by example and by my play more than anything.”
In response to how she believes Bellano fits into her role and the team’s system, Barnett explained that Bellano does a great job as a midfielder.
“Jenna fits in really well with our team, she’s always willing to work at whatever we need her for,” Barnett added.
In addition, Gendreau said, “She has assumed the role of a leader on the offensive end and always works
hard on and off the ball to make things happen.” She added, “We rely on Jenna, along with many other offensive players, to put the ball in the back of the net. She is essential on draw controls and a hard worker in transitioning the ball from the defensive end to the offensive end.”
In response to how the team prepares players for games, Gendreau explained that she gives players like Bellano game-like situations so she and her other teammates are prepared.
In agreement with Gendreau, Barnett said, “We practice how we play, and we work on a lot of stuff in practice that we didn’t do well on in the games. We push each other to be better than how we were last practice. We definitely keep each other’s spirits up and motivate each other.”
Next year is a new year and, in response to a potential leadership role, Bellano stated, “I would love to be a captain, but I’m so quiet I don’t know. I’m the type that will go up to everybody and congratulate them.”
However, her teammate, Barnett, said, “I see her being a huge contributor and leader to the rest of the team.”
In addition to that point, Gendreau added that Bellano is the type of player to get stronger and smarter each year with more experience. She said that Bellano also has room to grow and improve.
In regard to importance of statistics, Bellano stated, “I feel like the teams with the highest individual stats and the best individual players aren’t the best teams because if you have an overall well-rounded team that’s what makes your team good.”
In regards to her title of LEC Rookie of the Year last year, she added, “I totally rather would have traded that for a title last year. That stuff doesn’t matter as much as winning to me.”
As to how the team values individual performances, Gendreau said, “Everyone truly brings something special and unique to the team. Some of us bring speed, some of us bring outstanding stick skills and some of us contribute by maintaining continuous positivity and encouragement. I think we have been successful because we capitalize on each other’s strengths and work every day on our individual weaknesses.”
Jeff Lunn can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org