For our third installment of QuickStick Q&A’s, we chatted with Melanie McHugh, a senior defender from the old stomping grounds. Elon Women’s Lacrosse is coming off an NCAA Tournament berth in 2017, their first in the program’s four-year history. They play in the highly competitive CAA, where they’ll look to build on last year’s success.
You guys start the season nationally ranked for the first time in program history. Do you feel any added pressure than you have in past years going into this season?
It would be easy to say yes given the talent in the class that graduated and being that our schedule is “harder” than it has ever been. However, our team culture is about so much more than standings, schedule or even score boards. Our main focus every day is to have fun and compete at our highest level possible. There’s a bigger picture than just being ranked. So no, I don’t feel any added pressure. We’re going to play every game of this season for each other, just as we always have. And I personally cannot wait.
Elon plays in the CAA, one of the strongest conferences in women’s lacrosse. What has playing against such a high level of competition both in and out of conference done for the program?
The CAA has been awesome for our program and it’s always great getting to that point in the season. Between our rivals in conference and our newer ACC matchups we are in for one hell of a season.
Your leading scorer from last year, Steph Asher is back. Is it crazy to put her in the Tewaaraton conversation?
Steph Asher is one of the most hard-working, competitive people I have ever met, and that is saying a lot. As a defender I love playing against Steph because I know she will give 100% effort into every rep in every drill. She’s someone that just makes you want to work harder and better during practice as well as encouraging extra reps before and after. Honestly, I can’t imagine her not being in the Tewaarton conversation.
Favorite lacrosse memory?
Being on the bus with the team when we found out we secured a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Who’s the funniest player on your team?
Tough question but I think I have to go with Maeve Cowley, she can make just about anyone laugh no matter the circumstance, although sometimes it’s unintentional.
Favorite non-lacrosse activity you do with your teammates?
Movie night, for sure.
Favorite sport to watch beside lacrosse?
Football is up there of course but I would have to say hockey. Let’s go Rangers!!!
Who was your favorite athlete when you were a kid?
Mia Hamm, until I realized I was terrible at soccer.