And thus, Crowell’s transition was not just one of individual and personal change, but more reflective of an era of transformation on the team itself.
Despite all that Crowell had to contend with—a new position, a depleted roster—success came quickly to the Crimson as it opened its season with consecutive wins over preseason-favorite Quinnipiac and Ivy-rival Princeton.
“To beat [Quinnipiac] and to turn around and beat Princeton when giving up close to 90 shots over that weekend was kind of a statement,” Crowell said. “I was thinking, ‘Okay, we have something here.’”
The wins kept coming. The team lost just once between October and December, and beat eventual national champion Clarkson on the road in Potsdam, N.Y. Amidst the shifting lines, Crowell showed why she was the winningest coach in UMass Boston history. Players and coach alike were confident in the change occurring.
“It wasn’t an easy transition, obviously,” sophomore forward Miye D’Oench said. “She was cool and collected the whole time. She filled that role really well.”
Meanwhile, to Crowell, despite the shifts from being a Division III head coach to an assistant coach at Harvard to eventually running the Crimson program, certain concepts have remained consistent no matter what position she held or school she coached at.
“I still think a lot of it is just coaching, relationship building with players, [and] communication,” Crowell said. “A lot of those same themes carry over no matter where you’re coaching, but I’d say the expectations and the exposure are 10 times bigger here [at Harvard].”
—Staff writer Cordelia F. Mendez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @CrimsonCordelia.