Feb. 17, 2012
EASTON, Pa. -
The 2012 Lafayette women’s lacrosse team returns 25 letterwinners and 12 players who started at least 10 games last season. Head Coach Alison Fisher enters her fourth year on the sidelines for Lafayette, which opens its season against Liberty on Saturday at 12 noon at Rappolt Field.
Fisher will have four goalkeepers at her disposal for the 2012 season, two who split time in the cage last year and a pair of newcomers. Senior Alexa Biale is the most experienced of the bunch after starting 11 games last year and seeing action in 28 during her career. Megan Curtin, a sophomore, played in 12 games as a freshman and made four starts. The freshmen, Mimi Connell and Blake Gentner, have each shown promise since arriving on College Hill and will contribute throughout the season.
“We are excited about the depth we have this year at the goalkeeper position,” Fisher said. “Having four goalies has created a competitive environment and each has made significant progress since we started practice in the fall. We look forward to maximizing each of their strengths in different situations this season.”
Lafayette’s most experienced unit is the defense, which is led by senior co-captain Lauren Curley. Curley has been a constant in Fisher’s starting lineup, making 44 appearances in the starting 12 during her first three seasons at Lafayette. She will be joined by junior Caitlin Mitchell, who was a Second Team All-Patriot League selection a season ago. Mitchell led the team with 35 ground balls as a freshman prior to collecting 27 in 2011.
Joining Curley and Mitchell on the back line will be Rachel Martin, another Second Team All-Patriot League honoree. Martin, a sophomore, earned the recognition following her first season in Maroon and White after she started all 16 games. Senior Meg Ohlmacher made the switch from midfield to defense this season and will see significant playing time in front of the Lafayette goal. In addition to the aforementioned foursome, Kim Harkins will play quality minutes and provide depth to the defense after recovering from an ACL injury suffered in 2011 the season finale against Holy Cross.
“Our greatest experience is on defense and we have built this team around a strong defensive core,” Fisher added. “We expect our defensive unit to lay the groundwork for our team's identity.”
Ana White will be a player to watch for the Leopards this year after her Patriot League Rookie of the Year selection last year. White burst onto the scene in 2011 as she led the nation with 5.56 draw controls per game. She also led the League with 2.19 caused turnovers per contest and registered a team-high 45 points.
Also returning in the midfield is junior Cammie Linville, who scored 15 goals and was named to the Academic All-Patriot League Team. Alongside Linville will be sophomore Laura Kleiber, who battled injuries in her first season, but still managed to score 12 goals in 12 games. Kleiber also represented Lafayette when she advanced to the second round of tryouts for the 2012 U.S. Women's National Senior Lacrosse Team over the summer.
Second-year player Courtney Landolfe, classmate Lindsay Yang and junior Ana Drehwing will add depth to the midfield corps. Landolfe has made great strides during the fall and preseason and will make a positive impact going forward. Yang brings great athleticism to the position while Drehwing has averaged 9.5 goals during her first two seasons at Lafayette.
“Although still young, our midfield group is incredibly talented,” Fisher said. “We are excited to see the influence they can have all over the field this year. They have embraced our high expectations and elevated their overall level of play as a result.”
Second Team All-Patriot League selection and 2010 Rookie of the Year Addie Godfrey returns for her junior campaign after leading the team in scoring as a freshman and sophomore. Godfrey, a multidimensional player, is the catalyst for the Lafayette offense as all of the team’s plays are run through her. Classmate Jessica Rothstein, a hard-nosed attacker, contributed 25 scores in 2011 after starting in all 16 games.
Also a threat to beat the goalkeeper is junior Victoria Maxon. The Bothell, Wash., native is a consistent force offensively with her ability to finish and finesse style of play. Senior co-captain Margaux LeBuffe made the transition from midfield to attack and has played in 47 games in three seasons. Fellow senior Erin Steel, who has 33 career tallies, will also see minutes up front for the Lafayette offense.
“We have certainly taken our lumps as a young attack the past 3 years,” Fisher said. “Now we are confident that we are both talented and experienced on the offensive end. The attackers facilitate great chemistry among our offensive unit, which makes us unpredictable and tough to stop.”