Women's Lacrosse Season Preview

Women's Lacrosse Season Preview

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The past three seasons have been some of the best years in the history of the Shorewomen Lacrosse program as the team has reached the Centennial Conference Tournament in each of the past three seasons and has advanced in the tournament all three times.  This season, the team seeks to continue this strong run by reaching the Centennial Conference tournament for the fourth straight season this spring, which would be a program first, and the seventh time overall under first-year head coach Heidi Yetman.

To reach their fourth straight conference tournament, win their first Centennial Conference crown and reach their first NCAA Tournament, the Shorewomen will need to fill the voids left by the graduation of three of the team's five leading scorers from a season ago, Mollie Shipley (2nd), Corinne Ziccardi (3rd) and Marissa Restaino (5th), and the team's three-year starting goalie, Stephanie Seibert.

Despite the losses, the cupboard is far from bare as the team still returns 10 players who started in at least one game last season and have restocked the roster with 11 freshmen on the 2014 version of the team, the squad's 33rd season as a varsity program.   In addition to the 11 freshmen, the team will also have seven seniors, six juniors and three sophomores.  The team also seeks to reach double figures in wins for a program record fourth straight season.

The team's top returning player is junior midfielder Emily Hubley (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin), who had one of the top seasons in the history of the program in 2013 for the Shorewomen.  The tri-captain, a first team All-Centennial Conference honoree and second team IWLCA All-Metro Region pick a year ago, had team-highs of 64 goals, 87 points (second most in a season all-time for a WC player), a school-record 85 draw controls, 53 ground balls and 38 caused turnovers.  Hubley was tops in the Centennial in goals and caused turnovers and was third in the Centennial in points.  She also added 23 assists and became just the fourth player in the 33-year history of the program to record 100 career points by the end of her sophomore season.  She is a two-time All-Centennial Conference pick, earning second team honors in 2012.  She is currently just eight goals away from scoring 100 career goals.

Senior tri-captain midfielder Carly Eisenbrandt (Baltimore, Md./Towson) is also back in the fold.  Eisenbrandt had a strong junior season where she set career-highs of 39 goals, 46 points and 62 draw controls, while starting in all 18 games.  She was second on the squad in goals and draws and is currently five away in each category from reaching 100.  A second team all-conference pick in 2012, she also tallied career-bests in ground balls (31) and caused turnovers (15).

Leading the way in the defensive midfield will senior tri-captain Kathleen Maleski (Mount Airy, Md./South Carroll).  Last spring Maleski was second on the team in ground balls (48) and caused turnovers (19) and was third on the Shorewomen in draws (43).  Maleski was also a contributor to the offense last season with 19 points on 14 goals and five assists, all career-highs for the senior.  She is 14 draw controls away and 12 ground balls away from reaching the century mark.

In goal, the Shorewomen have a five-way competition for the new starting goalie to replace Seibert.  Senior Rachelle Martinez (Silver Spring, Md./Northwood) has played nine games all-time in net for a total of 164:08.  In 2012, she started against NCAA Tournament team Montclair State in her lone career start and got the win.  She played in five games a season ago, making eight saves in 58:58 of action with a .667 save percentage.  Also competing in goal are freshmen Madeline Mullen (Fair Haven, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional), Allison Remenapp (Woodbine, Md./Century), Haylee Solomon (Wantagh, N.Y./Stanford H. Calhoun) and Megan Voss (Finksburg, Md./Garrison Forest).

Whereas the goalie situation will be very green this season, the defense is an experienced unit with three starters expected to play there this spring.  Senior Meredith Callis (Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country School) is the most experienced starter in the back as she has started in all 51 games for team.  Last season, she was part of a unit that gave up single figures in goals in the team's first five games and nine times overall, including a shutout of Bryn Mawr last April.  Callis had 26 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers, while notching her first point on an assist.  Joining Callis is senior Jillian Undem (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) who had 27 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers in her first season as a starter where she started all 18 times.  Callis and Undem will be joined in the back by junior Liz Godorov (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West), who is transitioning from the midfield to the defense this season.  Godorov put up numbers in a variety of categories last spring, totaling 26 ground balls, 11 caused turnovers and 21 points on 16 goals and five helpers.  Joining Callis, Godorov and Undem on defense will be junior Brie Van Veldhuisen (Washington, N.J./Voorhees) and sophomore Rachel Kurtz (Sykesville, Md./McDonogh School).  Van Veldhuisen played in seven games last year, while Kurtz started 10 times and played in all 18 contests as a freshman last year and scooped up 23 ground balls and netted 10 caused turnovers.  Returning to the fold after missing all of 2013 due to injury is junior Julia Zimm (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset).

Joining Eisenbrandt, Hubley and Maleski at midfield will be sophomore Erica Hoffman (Laurel Springs, N.J./Sterling) and freshmen Alli Dudley (New Windsor, Md./Francis Scott Key), Daniela Falcone (Potomac, Md./Connelly School of the Holy Child), Anna Inserra (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollows Hills West), Cara Pascarella (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollows Hills East) and Katherine Vincent (Wilton, Conn./Wilton).  Inserra will join Hubley as a two-way midfielder, while Falcone and Hoffman will see most of their time at defensive midfield with Dudley and Vincent joining Eisenbrandt as seeing most of their action as offensive middies.

At attacker, sophomore Carley Kendall (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) had nine goals and won 11 draw controls in playing 17 games last season, including one start, while junior Caroline Lovett (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) had 10 points on six goals and four assists in 14 contests and garnering eight starts, all personal-bests.  Senior Laura Nicely (Baltimore, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) played in 14 games, one start, and had a personal-high five scores.  Also on the attack is senior Sydney Slavin (Timonium, Md./Dulaney), who had a career-best six goals in 2013, junior Catherine Stanley (Freeland, Md./Hereford), who deposited her first three career goals a year ago, and freshmen Sarah Matanin (Parkton, Md./Hereford) and Maisey Thompson (West Chester, Pa./Woodlynde School)

The draw control position will be very experienced with Hubley, Kendall and Maleski as all three took draws last season and helped the squad win 61 more draws than their opponents, 262-201. 

"We're excited to get our season underway," states Yetman.  "It's going to be an exciting season with lots of new talent.  Luckily, we have players who have been part of the progression of the program and will be the leaders who will guide the new talent."

She is also looking forward to having her full squad beginning next week for the final week of preseason as Falcone, Hubley and Kendall will join the rest of the team after missing the first three weeks of preseason due to their basketball commitments. 

Yetman is no stranger to the program as she was the team's top assistant coach for the past three seasons.  Since 2011, the team has won 34 games and that is the most wins for the program in any three-year stretch.  She will be joined by assistant coaches Jessica Rudloff and Haydon Judge.  Judge was an assistant last season, while Rudloff is spending her first year on the staff. 

Washington's schedule includes five teams in the IWLCA Preseason Top 20 and five 2013 NCAA Tournament teams.  The Shorewomen will play at #5 Franklin & Marshall (March 29), #6 Gettysburg (April 19), #14 Susquehanna (March 7), #16 Christopher Newport (March 16) and versus #20 Fredonia in West Palm Beach, Florida (March 13).   The five opponents that reached the tournament last year on the Shorewomen's docket were Christopher Newport, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Rowan and Susquehanna. 

The team will open at Rowan on March 1 and seeking their fourth straight win over Rowan in the series and will open the home portion of the schedule six days later when they play Susquehanna for the first time since 1993.  Washington will open the Centennial slate on March 29 when they travel to Franklin & Marshall.  The Shorewomen in conference play will travel to F&M, Muhlenberg (April 5), Dickinson (April 12), Haverford (April 16) and Swarthmore (April 23) and host Ursinus (April 2), Bryn Mawr (April 9), Gettysburg (April 19) and McDaniel (April 26).  Out of conference, WC will play at Rowan and St. Mary's (Md.) (March 5), host Susquehanna and Christopher Newport (March 16) and play St. Lawrence and Fredonia on March 12 and 13 respectively in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Shorewomen were picked third in the annual Centennial Conference Preseason Poll as voted on by the conference's head coaches.  Gettysburg was first with 70 vote-points, Franklin & Marshall was second with 67, the Shorewomen followed with 54.  Haverford (50) and Dickinson (44) rounded out the top five.  McDaniel (36), Swarthmore (28), Ursinus (28), Muhlenberg (19) and Bryn Mawr (9) completed the poll.