VESTAL (WBNG) -- The Binghamton women's lacrosse team kicks off the 2021 season Saturday.
The Bearcats schedule consists of nine conference games, with playoffs taking place in May.
Coach Stephanie Allen said after nearly one year without competition, the team is eager to play at a competitive level.
"We talked at the beginning of practice today and mentioned that Saturday will mark 360 days since our last game," said Allen. "That's a lot of time together as a team and facing off against the same colored jersey so I think these girls are really just excited to step out there and compete against somebody other than themselves."
With a condensed preseason, Allen said they had to figure out what the focus points would be.
"While we return a lot of the same faces, there really is a fresh look out there. We've got new offensive systems and really just across the board we've had to do things differently this year," she said. "We're really playing to our strengths and what our team does best out there."
Goalie Taylor Passuello is ready to return to the net for her fifth season.
After her senior season was canceled last March, she said her expectation this season is to leave everything out on the field.
"Especially having that taken away from me last year, my senior year, really emphasizing on this could potentially be the last practice, this could potentially be the last game, so giving it all I have every minute like it's my last," said Passuello.
Senior midfielder Alyssa Sanchez has the same mindset ahead of her final season with the Bearcats.
"I just want to make the absolute best out of it. Last season I finished pretty strong, I want to keep going with that," said Sanchez. "Hopefully help out the younger girls who will be filling in those shoes the following years and as I'm leaving just help out the generation that's going to be here next year, and just finish strong."
With no non-conference games to prepare for America East play, both Passuello and Sanchez said they'll have to maximize on opportunities and limit mistakes.
The Bearcats were picked to finish sixth in the conference in the preseason polls, but Passeullo said she thinks the team will surprise people.
"I think that what we're ranked now doesn't show what freshman we have coming in. I think that we're a force to be reckoned with and UMass Lowell's gonna see that this Saturday," she said.
The Bearcats host UMass Lowell Saturday at 1 p.m.