Feb. 13, 2013
EASTON, Pa. – The Lafayette women’s lacrosse team returns 27 letterwinners and eight starters to a team that was 9-8 last season, narrowly missing a berth into the Patriot League Tournament. Head coach Alison Fisher, who is in her fifth season on College Hill, returns the top four leading scorers from 2012 and three All-Patriot League honorees from a year ago. Lafayette opens the 2013 season on Saturday Feb. 16 against Marist at 4 p.m. in Fisher Stadium.
The Leopards will be led offensively by senior Addie Godfrey. The Patriot League First Team member a season ago led the League with 59 goals, which ranked fifth nationally and has led the team in scoring in each of her three years on College Hill. Godfrey, a three-time All-Patriot League selection and 2010 League Rookie of the Year, also led the Leopards in points in 2012 with 68. She is joined by classmate Jessica Rothstein who started all 17 games last season, finishing third on the team in goals and points with 29 and 37, respectively. Seniors Katie Leto, Victoria Maxon and Katie Mischler have appeared in 97 total games for the Leopards, with Maxon starting 16 of 17 in 2012. This trio will bring a wealth of leadership and experience to Lafayette’s attack. Each brings a different style of play to the 2013 season, giving Fisher both depth and versatility on the offensive end.
Junior Arin Stasco and sophomore Katie Elander saw limited action in 2012 but a year’s time has made a huge difference for them and each has matured since the Leopards last took the field, giving them both the potential to make positive contributions this spring.
Three freshmen attackers will have the chance to learn and grow under the tutelage of the five seniors. Melissa Galione is likely to compete for a starting spot, while Brooke Callahan and Kristen Mignon will be expected to give the Leopards quality minutes as they learn the ropes.
“I remember the days of starting five freshmen on attack, then five sophomores and a freshmen,” Fisher said. “We were ‘young’ for so many years and I am excited to have such an experienced group to work with this season. The upperclassmen have developed a great chemistry that naturally has incorporated the younger players. The underclassmen have the advantage of having role models and crafting their game after seasoned veterans.”
Senior captain Cammie Linville started all 17 games last season and will again be the leader of the midfield unit. Linville has appeared in all 49 games the Leopards have played in over her three year career and has amassed 40 points, 78 grounds balls, 35 draw controls and 33 caused turnovers in that time. Linville’s greatest strength is in her defense and transition game. She will be expected to match-up on other teams’ top offensive threats, facilitate Lafayette’s break and command the defensive unit in 2013.
Juniors Ana White and Laura Kleiber also started all 17 games for the Leopards in 2012. White, a Swarthmore, Pa. native, was second on the team in goals last season with 36 and led the Leopards in assists with 20. The junior also led the team in ground balls with 31 and finished second in the nation in draw controls with 113 (6.65 per contest). The 2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Year is just 16 draw controls away from the Patriot League career record and was named the 2013 Patriot League Break Out Player of the Year by Inside Lacrosse. Kleiber scored 19 goals and picked up 19 ground balls in 2012 and is expected to hit her stride in 2013. A dynamic midfielder with playmaking abilities, Kleiber will no doubt demand the respect of other teams’ defensive units. Coupled with Godfrey, Rothstein and White, the Leopards will be tough to match up with this spring.
Senior Ana Drehwing has appeared in 40 games for the Leopards, starting 28. Her experience and versatility will be a significant asset this spring. Drehwing and junior Courtney Landolfe give the Leopards midfield depth which will allow Fisher to put a rotation out on the field that keeps their personnel fresh and in control of the pace of each game.
Sophomore Sarah Malone saw action in 1 game last spring and looks to contribute more this season once she returns from an injury she suffered in 2012. Two freshmen, Carlianne McCabe and Kaitlin Letter, round out the midfield options. McCabe is expected to start after a stellar preseason, while Letter will most likely contribute off the bench.
“I see our midfield as one of our greatest strengths. Cammie brings order and composure to both ends of the field, Ana gives us a huge advantage on the draw, Kleiber is a terrific shooter and Carlianne is a young talent who can threaten from the shadows of the others who are a little more recognizable,” Fisher added. “Ana Drehwing has been a tremendous leader for us all year and she can do a little bit of everything. With Court, Malone and Letter backing this group up and challenging them every day at practice, I am excited to see what this midfield group can facilitate for us this spring.”
Junior Rachel Martin and Senior Caitlin Mitchell will anchor a Leopard defense that allowed just 12 goals per game in 2012. Martin, a member of the 2013 preseason All-Patriot League squad, started all 17 games in 2012 and earned a spot on the All-Patriot League Second Team. The Belle Mead, N.J. native was second on the team in ground balls (30) and caused 19 turnovers a season ago. Mitchell, an All-Patriot League selection in 2011, started 14 games in 2012, picking up 16 ground balls and forcing seven7 turnovers. With her explosive speed and agility, she will be charged with shutting down the other teams’ quickest attackers this spring. Junior Lindsay Yang will also start on the defensive side for the Leopards after playing in 12 games last year. Following a terrific fall season and a strong preseason, Yang will be an important piece of the defensive unit. With Martin, Mitchell and Yang, Lafayette’s lineup in 2013 is arguably the fastest that Fisher has ever put on the field, giving them the ability to push the pace of play.
A trio of sophomores, Shannon Zoldy, Taylor McGinnis and Dana Ahern are all looking to crack the starting lineup on the defensive end in 2013. Zoldy played in four games last season, picking up two ground balls, while Ahern saw action in one game. Freshman Laura Rowan also has great potential to start behind the restraining line for the Leopards. The Rose Valley, Pa. native hails from Strath Haven High School, also the alma mater of Ana White, and she led her team to the PA state final in 2012. Freshman Casey Sullivan will have the opportunity to learn from the experience around her as she gains valuable experience this spring.
“I am a firm believer that great teams are built on a defensive foundation and I have great confidence that our defensive unit gives us just that,” Fisher said. “We have a group of athletic, intelligent young women on defense led by Caitlin and Rachel. We pride ourselves on making nothing easy on the defensive end. I have no doubt this group will put us in a position to compete in every game on our schedule this spring.”
The Leopards have 2 options between the pipes this season as junior Meghan Curtin and sophomore Mimi Connell both saw significant time in 2012. Curtin started in eight games posting a 12.21 goals-against average with 79 saves. Connell also started in eight games last spring finishing with an 11.35 goals-against average and 60 saves. A year older and a year wiser both will be expected to build on their successes of a spring ago. Although sophomore Blake Gentner did not see time in 2012 she too has grown throughout the off season and makes the battle for the starting job an exciting one.
“We have 3 goalkeepers with 3 very different styles,” Fisher stated. “Mimi is a very active keeper who plays more like an eighth defender while Meg and Blake sit back and make attackers really work to find openings in the net. I like being able to mix them up because it makes us unpredictable defensively. Each has worked extremely hard this off season and will be able to contribute this spring when they are asked to do so.”
Lafayette has put together a challenging schedule for its 2013 season, including two teams in the Preseason top-15 in National RPI in Penn State (13) and Navy (14). Additionally, the Leopards will face four other squads in the RPI Top-50 including Temple (28), Holy Cross (40), La Salle (45) and Monmouth (50).