By Sam Brouwere
Senior Sports Reporter
The Griffs will start their conference schedule when they host the Manhattan Jaspers Saturday at 11 a.m.
None of the other teams have played a conference game yet, but Iona currently leads with an overall record of 5-4.
Canisius, who sits at 3-4, will certainly have a harder time winning the conference compared to last year because the conference is expected to be more competitive this season. Also, the Griffs lost many players leaving via graduation, injury and transfer from last year’s championship team.
However, the Griffs still stack up well against the other MAAC teams and it’s fair to say that they are the favorite to win it again.
“I think it’s going to be a really competitive year in the MAAC,” head coach Allison Daley said. “I think that we can continue to be really successful throughout our MAAC schedule, but I think we’re seeing a lot of improvement from a lot of the other teams in the conference. It’s certainly not going to be an easy road for us, but I have confidence that the ladies in the locker room can get it done.”
A big reason why the Griffs should continue winning games heading into their conference schedule is the play of junior Jourdan Roemer. She currently leads the team with 28 points (17 goals, 11 assists).
“The success has certainly given me more confidence,” Roemer said. “We lost a lot of players and we lost Erica [Evans] to injury. She’s been a really good player for us. I just realized that me, Jen [Reininger] and the seniors had to step up and do our part to help the team become better this year.”
Roemer explained that there are things that she’s happy that the team has accomplished but there are still things that she wants to accomplish.
“Beating a ranked opponent (Yale on March 11) was a big deal for us,” she said. “We can’t stop there and we want to win the MAAC Championships and move on to NCAAs which is the same goals that we always have. I think our team culture has been really good and that’s been a big plus for us. That’s helped us be successful and it’s helped us be ready for MAAC competition.”
For the game against the Jaspers, the Griffs stack up well. The Jaspers have an overall record of 3-5 and currently rank seventh in the conference in goals per game (9.5). The Griffs rank last in that category (8.5) but certainly faced strong competition in their non-conference schedule.
“They’re extremely well-coached,” Coach Daley said. “The coach there [Katie McConnell] is in her second year there. She came from a great program is doing some great things there, so I think they’re extremely competitive and hard-working team. I think that we certainly will match up well against them on Saturday.”