Green Terror ready to realize promise of '94

March 08, 1995|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

Major strides were made by the Western Maryland College women's lacrosse team last spring, more than enough to believe the Green Terror is just a few short steps from taking the program to the next level.

It was a young Green Terror team that went 12-2 overall last season and 8-2 in finishing tied for second in the Centennial Conference. Most impressive was its ability to win the close games, as it went 5-1 in games decided by one or two goals.

With 10 of its 12 starters returning, coach Kim Easterday hopes the best is yet to come.

"The next two steps are one, winning the conference championship, and two, getting to the NCAA [Division III] tournament," she said. "Those are the next goals and all we can do is take it one game at a time. The competition is just too strong to look ahead."

Defending champ Johns Hopkins (10-0 in the CC last season) lost a handful of starters, including attacker Rebecca Savage and goalkeeper Lisa Hensley -- both All-CC first-team selections -- but appear to have reloaded with a strong fresh men class.

Franklin & Marshall (8-2 in CC play and tied for second in 1994) also had a strong recruiting class and Swarthmore (7-3) has just about everyone returning.

Last season, Western Maryland failed to gain an at-large bid in the NCAA Division III South Region, with Roanoke (Va.) College edging them out. This year, the Green Terror moves to the Central Region, composed of schools from Maryland and Pennsylvania -- most of which play in the CC.

The Green Terror has its entire defense returning, a 60-goal scorer in junior midfielder Denise Sarver and experience returning at every position. Questions still remain. The primary concern is replacing the offensive production left behind by Gina Cappi, who graduated after scoring 60 goals and assisting on 18 others last season.

Easterday thinks a healthy Rachael Horneman could be the perfect complement to Sarver. The senior attacker has yet to play a game for the Green Terror after transferring from Notre Dame after her freshman year. The former Liberty High standout was sidelined with a back injury in 1993 and then tore an anterior cruciate ligament just before the start of last season.

"She's a definite threat around the goal and hopefully can step right in," said Easterday. "Denise looks very good. Hopefully we'll have enough surrounding her to keep other teams from keying just on her. Accuracy and deception are her biggest things -- the ball just goes in the goal."

Junior Amy Eggers (North Carroll) was fourth on the team in scoring last season with 22 goals and eight assists and sophomore Mary Beth Francis was a big influence on attack with 23 goals and six assists in her first year.

A defense led by senior co-captains Heather Bailey and Stacey Baker will be asked to take control of the transition game and help the midfield as it settles in with some new faces. Junior Anne Larson is another key contributor on defense.

"The defense is critical to what any game is going to be all about," said Easterday. "You have to have a strong defense to have a strong attack. We need to improve our transition game and we hope the defense can spearhead that."

Junior Marcie Delahoz, a South Carroll grad, has played every minute of every game in the Green Terror cage the past two seasons. Last season, she had 170 saves and a 10.70 goals-against average and will get some relief with the addition of freshman Amanda Rose.

The other graduation loss comes at midfield where Jill Grosso was the glue. There is talent returning at the position, some new players looking to make an impact and some insurance with some others able to play both midfield and attack.

Joining Sarver at midfield are sophomores Jodi Wagner (27 goals, 12 assists), Chrissy Pardew (12 goals, six assists) and junior Heather Seaburg. Eggers can drop back and play midfield if needed and freshmen Courtney Boden and Janelle Constantine should contribute.

"A lot depends on how quickly the freshmen adjust to the college level and adapt to the other players," Easterday said.

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