Bowles recharged for upcoming lacrosse season
By Kristin Flatow
Feb. 17, 2015
After missing nearly her whole freshman season due to injury, University at Albany women’s lacrosse player Rachel Bowles has done a good job making up for lost time.
Last season, she was named to the IWLCA Northeast All-Region First Team, as well as America East Co-Offensive Player of the Year, and Unanimous America East All-Conference First Team Pick. Bowles was ranked second in the nation in points per game (6.20). Bowles recorded a career single-game high of nine points in the season opener at Bryant on Feb. 21. Bowles was named the America East Offensive Player of the Week three times and helped UAlbany finish their regular season as the top team in the league in goals per game, points per game, and shot percentage.
Bowles scored her 100th career point in a 12-8 win at UMBC on April 18 and concluded the 2014 season with 44 goals and 24 assists for 68 points. Bowles is ranked fourth in UAlbany program history in single season points and also a four-time America East Rookie of the Week honoree during the 2013 season. That season, Bowles also won America East Rookie of the Year as well as being named to the All-Conference second team.
Bowles choose to play at University at Albany instead of schools like Cornell and St. John Fisher because she liked, “how close the team was. Lacrosse wise it was a great school choice for me,” she said. She is currently on scholarship and lives with her teammates like she has since the beginning of her freshmen year.
Bowles notes that being aggressive and fast paced are the team’s biggest strengths. As she said, her goal for the upcoming season is, “to have more leadership on the field. I can be quiet at times so I would like to be more vocal. Finishing my shots is something I need to work on.”
She was a shy player in high school as well, but learned to remain tough as the competition got harder. “In high school I was one of the best players on my team, but when you get to college, everyone’s just as fast and as good as you.”
The team’s biggest expectation this season is to remain a strong competitor against the top teams like Syracuse and Stony Brook, who they lost to in the America East championship game last season.
The team has grown in size this season as well, “We used to only have about three subs, after you take out the girls that were injured,” Bowles said. “Now we have a lot of new players and about 32 people on our roaster which is a lot of competition considering there are only 11 players on the field at a time.”
Bowles has a good system of handling playing a DI division sport at UAlbany, while keeping her grades up. “It was hard at first getting used to all the traveling, but there is a lot of support that helps,” Bowles said. “Also the older girls who have taken the same or similar classes are there to help.”
She also has a great relationship with head coach John Battaglino, who first met her at a summer tournament.
The first women’s lacrosse home game of the 2015 season is on Feb. 25 against Manhattan College at 3 p.m.