by MADALYN JOHNSON, Asst. A&E Editor
Jenna Dingler is starting her first year as head coach for the Manhattan College women’s lacrosse team. Initially coaching at Caldwell University, a Division II school, Dingler has been a passionate and strong lacrosse player for quite some time.
A New Jersey native from Washington Township, located right outside of the Philadelphia area, Dingler played college lacrosse for Lock Haven University from 2012 to 2016.
“I was a midfielder, I was a Defense All-American and I played more of a defense, midfield role,” said Dingler. “We made it to national championships my sophomore and junior year of college. Amazing experience, unfortunately we lost both games to Adelphi University.”
Dingler’s love and devotion for lacrosse continued right out of college as she became the lacrosse coach for Caldwell University, while she worked on getting her Master’s degree at Montclair State University.
The coach shared how her transition from Jersey to the Bronx has helped her build a strong women’s lacrosse program for the Jaspers, considering the location has made her more accessible to recruiters.
“I think there’s a difference in terms of recruiting, I can look more into the Long Island area and the New York State, Buffalo area and I mean the Bronx at Manhattan, overall, has a great pool for recruiting. I think we can be very successful just because of our location.”
Besides training students to become physically ready to play on the field, Dingler emphasized how important it is to mentally prep student athletes by making sure they perform as exceptionally well in the classroom.
“I always say you’re a student first, and I’m very passionate about that” Dingler said. “I think they need to get an experience both on the field and off the field as a student athlete here at Manhattan. That involves all campus activities and going to study hall, maintaining a good GPA and setting themselves up for success post college.”
The Jasper community, Dingler explained, has positively welcomed the coach with open arms and immense support. “I have been welcomed immensely by a great staff, great support, and I’m constantly being checked in on.”
Dingler also discussed how the MC women’s lacrosse program has sustained a successful reputation.
”They’re asking if I need any help and I just feel there’s a lot of support for this program overall. I’ve heard nothing but good things from the administrators and from everyone on campus about the women’s lacrosse program, and I’m excited to uphold that standard.”
Strong-minded, ambitious and excited for the upcoming season, Dingler revealed what she and the team hopes to achieve.
“We’re going for the MAAC championship. We made an appearance in the first round last year and we’re going to continue that and continue growing and really reaching towards that championship game.”
To preserve and uphold what the women’s team has accomplished in the past, Dingler plans on continuing to recruit and utilize MC’s location.
“In terms of maintaining success, I definitely want to continue recruiting strong athletes. I think that’s the biggest feet right now for us, is recruiting so I’m going to spend a lot of time, in our off-season, recruiting and getting out to tournaments to see some high showcased girls.”
In addition to recruiting, Dingler is eager to keep the momentum high in practice through constant competition.
“In terms of keeping energy high in practice, I like to keep it competitive and we’re constantly competing offense versus defense.” She’s as well set up and prepared activities to keep the girls energized, engaged, and hungry for a win when lacrosse season hits. “We’re actually right now doing a ‘green and white week’. I’ve split the team in half and we’re competing throughout the week with different events and activities on and off the field, with little missions they have to accomplish. It keeps everyone really engaged and competitive.”