Women’s lax looks to build on past success

Coming off a 14-5 season in 2014, women’s lacrosse is looking to build on its success from last year. The Ephs spent much of the season on the road last year due to a lack of a turf field, travelling every day for practice until April. Before the snow melted, the Ephs competed in “home” games as far away as the University of Mass. at Amherst and Smith College. With the completion of the Weston Athletic Complex, the Ephs will at last be able to both practice and play games at home.

Last season, the Ephs battled to fourth place in the NESCAC tournament, one of the strongest conferences in Div. III lacrosse. Their season ended in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, just barely falling to NESCAC rival Colby in a tight 8-6 game. The Ephs are supported by a strong coaching staff. New assistant coach, Meredith Goodale, takes the place of MC Snediker. The Ephs return goalie coach, Andrew Vigne. In her 30th year as Head Coach, Chris Mason continues to defy expectations, and she is looking to do that again this season.

The women lost a group of seven seniors that made a major impact in leading the team to its success last year. Tri-captain Ali Piltch ’14, starting goalkeeper; tri-captain Lacey Hankin ’14 and Grace Wilson ’14, starting defenders; tri-captain Rebecca McGovern ’14, Second Team All-American midfielder and attacker Stephanie Gallo ’14 all graduated last spring. Courtney McLaughlin ’14 and Maggie MacCallum ’14 will also be sorely missed for their consistency on the field.

The Ephs will be led this season by tri-captains Becca Bell ’15, Bridget Malicki ’15 and Maeve Mulholland ’15. They are supported by a strong senior class comprised of Hillary Cook ’15,  Nancy Palmer ’15, Mahaney Sippel ’15, Alyssa Amos ’15 and Emily Gerber ’15.

However, a new batch of first-years, with eager eyes and youthful exuberance, is looking to make its mark on the Ephs’ squad. Jenny Roach ’18, Kat Fearey ’18 and Isha Singh ’18 join a defensive unit that returns Molly Belk ’16 and Gerber, as well as Julia Diaz ’16 and Jocelyn Wexler ’17 and Sippel. Eleanor Lustig ’18, Kate Pattison and Caroline Hogan ’18 bolster a midfield that boasts Natalie Gill ’16, Anne Rehfuss ’16, Jenna Chodos ’17, Mairead Toms ’17, Cook, Palmer, Amos, Mulholland and Bell. Oliva Polk ’18 and Skylar Smith ’18 will support an agile attack that consisting of Micaela Dussel ’16, Haley Mahar ’16, Katie Gallop ’17, Alyssa Maddalone ’16 and Malicki.

For the first few games of the season, Brett Bidstrup ’17 will be stepping in as goalkeeper for the Ephs. Bidstrup, normally an attacker, will be starting while Sara Lehman ’17 and Margaret Draper ’17 finish up their seasons with women’s hockey. Bidstrup’s time in goal has already been a major boost to the morale on the Eph’s defense. She will be tested by several tough offenses in the coming weeks.

“We are really looking forward to this season,” said Bell. “We have a really strong group of returning players, and we’ve had a lot of young players step up into positions and roles that we needed to fill. Our freshmen have brought a really positive energy and a lot of speed and skill. We are coming off a great season last year and are really looking to carry that momentum into this season.”

The women begin their season against Bowdoin on Saturday at noon. The game will take place in Brunswick, Maine.