Women's lacrosse: State Division I capsules

February 11, 2010|by Katherine Dunn | Baltimore Sun reporter

TeamTop returning scorerAlso backKey additionsThe Baltimore Sun's take

Johns Hopkins
American Lacrosse Conference (5-12) Coach: Janine Tucker 17th season, 182-89 Candace Rossi, sophomore A (29 goals, 4 assists) • Angela Hughes, senior D (10, 3) • Colleen McCaffrey, sophomore M (28, 4) • Brooke Lipinski, junior D • Alyssa Kildare, sophomore D • Paige Ibello, senior A (12, 5) • Monica Fischer, freshman M • Cosette Larash, freshman G • Sammi Arbitman, freshman D • Katie Duffey, freshman MAfter reaching the NCAA tournament quarterfinals in 2007, the Blue Jays have stumbled through a couple of losing seasons, but Tucker said last spring was the worst of her career. With an influx of young talent, she will try to guide the Blue Jays back toward the Division I elite, although she said this young team is "100 percent a work in progress." Multitalented veteran Hughes will be the key to a young defense, and goalie Larash should bolster a position that has been a problem in recent years. In a conference dominated by No. 1 and five-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern, the Blue Jays will likely improve and climb higher in the league standings.
Big East Conference (11-6) Coach: Jen Adams Second season, 11-6 Grace Gavin, junior M (56, 18) • Cara Filippelli, junior M • Abby Rehfuss, junior M • Emily Gibson, senior M • Kellye Gallagher, junior D • Ana Heneberry, sophomore D • Caroline Hager, junior A • Meg Decker, junior M • Cass Cursaro, freshman M • Ashley Moulton, freshman M • Helen McCutcheon, junior M-DIn her first stint as a head coach, Adams began turning the Greyhounds program around after a couple of disappointing seasons. She returns eight starters and adds some talented newcomers, including transfers Decker (Navy) and McCutcheon (Maryland). This group will show its versatility with some veteran midfielders able to spend more time at one end of the field or the other, while the team's depth allows it to retain a high-powered, up-tempo midfield. Look for the Greyhounds to improve on their 3-4 conference record.
Atlantic Coast Conference (21-1, NCAA semifinals) Coach: Cathy Reese Fourth season, 39-4 Sixth season overall, 86-37Karri Ellen Johnson, sophomore A (74, 13) • Caitlyn McFadden, senior M (51, 31) • Sarah Mollison, junior A (44, 38) • Laura Merrifield, junior M (46, 3) • Karissa Taylor, senior D • Katie Gallagher, senior D • Brandi Jones, junior M (28, 33) • Katie Schwarzmann, freshman M • Iliana Sanza, freshman D • Alex Aust, freshman M The Terrapins reached the final four for the first time in six years, and they return every starter. A powerhouse lineup that includes three World Cup veterans - McFadden, Mollison and Merrifield - adds a talented freshman class, including Schwarzmann, The Sun's 2009 All-Metro Player of the Year at Century High. The Terps had a few close calls last season, and Reese said she is aiming for more consistency and a little more offense. Still, it's hard to find a weakness, and the Terps have plenty of motivation after their heartbreaking 8-7 loss to North Carolina in the semifinals.
Mount St. Mary's
Northeast Conference (6-11) Coach: Sonia LaMonica First season Ashley Johnson, senior A (25, 5) • Lucy Pompa, junior M (10, 1) • Esther Rufolo, sophomore M (5, 2) • Aly Jost, junior D • Cait Fraccalvieri, senior D • Jackie Kearney, senior D • Brigid McTavish, sophomore G • Kaitlyn Larrimore, freshman M • Jordan Certeza, freshman MLaMonica, a Maryland graduate who spent two years as an assistant at Towson, inherits a team that graduated 41 percent of its scoring and returns only one player who contributed more than 11 points. On the other hand, her defense includes a lot of veterans, and their strength could give the Mountaineers' promising younger players a chance to pick up the attack and complement Johnson. Although LaMonica said the transition to a new coach is a challenge for the players, they have the enthusiasm and the work ethic to start moving the Mountaineers toward vying for the conference title they last won in 2005.
Patriot League (13-5) Coach: Cindy Timchal Third season, 26-9 28th season overall, 362-95 Erin Rawlick, senior M (55, 27) • Caitlin Mandrin Hill, junior A (24, 25) • Mary Ruttum, senior M (30, 13) • Katrina Nietsch, junior M (26, 10) • Dani Vivonetto, sophomore A (31, 2) • Kierstin King sophomore M (19, 10) • Elaina Ponchione, sophomore G • Beth Young, freshman M-D • Kathy Young, freshman M • Jasmine DePompeo, freshman MIn their third season as a varsity program, the Midshipmen are aiming for a conference title. With 10 starters back and seven players who had 25 or more points, they have plenty of experience and firepower. There's also more speed and depth in the midfield. The Midshipmen will get a chance to test themselves against tougher nonconference competition with Duke and William & Mary added to the schedule. Timchal, the winningest coach in Division I women's lacrosse history, has the Midshipmen improving each year, and they should be a factor in the conference race.
Colonial Athletic Association (13-6, NCAA first round) Coach: Missy Doherty Seventh season, 66-41 Nikki Marcinik senior M (50, 20) • Hillary Fratzke, senior M • Megan Mullis, senior D • Mary Teeters, sophomore G • Steph Taylor, senior M • Alexa Demski, freshman D • Ashley Waldron, freshman M • Olivia Turner, freshman A • Kelly Custer, freshman MThe Tigers will try to become the first team to win three straight CAA titles, and they get a boost from the return of Fratzke, the 2008 CAA Player of the Year, who missed last season with a knee injury. In addition to scoring 62 goals and 24 points two years ago, she was also one of the nation's best at winning the draw. The Tigers have plenty of firepower and more depth than last season. Although they lost several key players, they know how to fill in the blanks. They aim to retain the CAA crown, fare better against a tough nonconference schedule and get past the first round of the NCAA tournament.
America East (9-8) Coach: Kelly Berger First season Amanda Pappas, junior M (28, 9) • Erika Braerman, junior A (9, 11) • Meagan Linkous, junior M-D (4, 1) • Sarah Willis, senior M-D • Kate Quick, senior G • Bria Phillips, sophomore M (18, 7) • Ashley Stodter, junior M-A (25, 3) • Jamie Fahey, freshman D • Alicia Krause, sophomore A • Lindsay Cox, freshman MAfter two years as a UMBC assistant coach, Hammond graduate Berger takes over a Retrievers team that returns 70 percent of its offense and a terrific goalie in Quick, who led the conference in save percentage. Pappas and Braerman can put up big numbers, as can Krause, a transfer from Duquesne. The defense was third in the conference in goals allowed (9.88), a significant improvement from the previous year. The midfield isn't as deep as Berger would like, but players at both ends should bolster that. Berger said boosting confidence is the key to improving their conference standing.
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