Young squad looks to propel women’s lacrosse forward

After a surprising spurt in last year’s NESCAC playoffs, women’s lacrosse hopes to continue its momentum this spring. Although the loss of four seniors will be tough, the young team is eager to get their season underway.

Last year’s Ephs (6-8) fought their way back in the later part of the season to make the conference tournament.

The women eventually lost in the semifinals of NESCACs to top-seeded Middlebury 15-5, after pulling out a 14-13 victory against second-seeded Trinity in a heated overtime.

Williams collected further distinctions last season, when the team was nominated as an honor squad by the IWLCA for holding a collective team GPA of 3.35.

Co-captains, midfielder Sara duPont ’08 and defender Lauren Kennedy ’08 will lead the women this year. The loss of Kaylan Tildsley ’07, a two-year First Team All-American midfielder, and co-Defensive Player of the Year – along with other graduated Ephs will affect the composition of the team’s talent this year.

To fill the void left by Tildsley and the three other graduated seniors, the captains will look to the whole team rather than individual players. “We don’t have strong standouts this season, but we have depth,” duPont said.

“The pressure will fall on every shoulder.” Head Coach Chris Mason and Assistant Coach Alix Rourke ’93 continue at the helm this season. Mason has coached women’s lacrosse for 22 years at the College and recorded two undefeated seasons among numerous other accomplishments. This spring will mark Rourke’s sixth year assisting Mason. She served as interim head coach in 2001.

Mason expects to have a great team this year, but wants to bring the squad to more consistent gameplay. Both offense and defense look sound, and among the first-years, incoming goaltender Julia Schreiber ’11 promises to bring talent to the team.

“We have a lot of core players back, and we want to make our record better and play two solid halves each game,” Mason said. “The team looks aggressive in scrimmages, but the conference is competitive too.”

Returning attackers Alison Murray ’08, Stephanie Hsiung ’09, Sarah Adkins ’08, Amina Pookrum ’09, Tina Nawrocki ’10, Tracey Ferriter ’10 and Whitney Thayer ’10 hope that their experience will come in handy this season. In midfield, newcomers Kathryn Stephens ’10 and Amy Siedlecki ’10 will join a lineup consisting of duPont, Lindsay Davies ’11, Allison Page ’11, Whitney Kelly ’10, Julia Nawrocki ’09, Anne Marie Burke ’11, Britt Spackman ’09 and Alice Nelson ’10.

Defending for the team are Kennedy, Hsiung, Stephens, Elizabeth Burns ’09, Siedlecki and Quinn Brueggemann ’10. Schreiber in goal will round off a tight defense line-up for the Ephs.

“We’re a young team, but we’re committed,” Kennedy said. “The players are very strong.”

The women will open officially on March 23, playing against Union at West Palm Beach, Fla.

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