PROVIDENCE, RI – Seventh-year head coach Keely McDonald '00 and the Brown women's lacrosse team will open the 2011 season this Saturday, February 26th, with an 11:30 a.m. contest at Sacred Heart. Live stats for the game will be available through SacredHeartPioneers.com. The Bears return their top four scorers from a year ago, while breaking the Brown record for goals scored in a season with 162, and will look to improve upon last year's 7-8 record (2-5 in the Ivy League). Under the leadership of senior tri-captains Alexa Caldwell (Middletown, DE), Tori Conway (Upper Arlington, OH) and Paris Waterman (Newark, DE), the Bears are playing for a top-four finish in the Ancient Eight and a trip to the Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament.
Juniors Kaela McGilloway (Sea Cliff, NY), a Second Team All-Ivy honoree in 2010, Julia Keller (Concord, MA) and Margaret Polanin (Chatham, NJ) will look to lead Brown's attack in 2011, along with a trio of newcomers; Grace Healy (Bellport, NY), Bre Hudgins (Syracuse, NY), a 2010 UnderArmour All-American, and Danielle Mastro (Endicott, NY).
McGilloway returns as the Bears leading scorer from a year ago, posting 51 points (7th all-time at Brown), on 36 goals (7th all-time at Brown) and 15 assists (10th all-time at Brown), all team-highs. A proven scorer and feeder, McGilloway is dangerous around the eight and remains a threat at all times. Keller played attack for the first time in her career last season, after playing defense as a freshman, and posted 7 points (6g, 1a) in 10 games. The Bears are counting on Keller to provide leadership and poise on the attack, while increasing her offensive output. Polanin appeared in eight games, starting two, and scored three goals on the year.
All three rookies have the potential to make an immediate impact on the attack, while both Healy and Hudgins provide strength on the draw for Brown, and Mastro could also see time in the midfield.
Brown's midfield returns several familiar faces and will be led by Caldwell and Waterman, and sophomore Lindsay Minges (Rochester, NY). Waterman had a big season for the Bears, earning First Team All-Region and First Team All-Ivy honors and then getting selected to the US National Team over the summer. Waterman finished second on the team in scoring last year with 39 points (33g, 6a) and also led the Bears with 33 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers, and was second with 24 draw controls. Caldwell was the Bears' fourth-leading scorer a year ago with 20 points (18g, 2a), led the team with 25 draw controls, and also added 24 ground balls. Minges, who may also play attack, finished third on the team in scoring a year ago with 21 points (16g, 5a) and added 18 ground balls and 10 draw controls.
A trio of sophomores – Katie DeLuca (Hillsborough, NJ), Tara Rooke (Wilbraham, MA), and Kasey Wagner (Southborough, MA) - also return to help lead the midfield. Rooke has the most experience of the three, having played in all 15 games last year, starting six, and contributing seven goals. Wagner (12 games) and DeLuca (8 games; 3 goals) spent most of the season adjusting to the collegiate game, but are expected to contribute more regularly in 2011.
Brown's defense is perhaps the deepest it has been in recent history with the return of seniors Krissi Penikis (Swarthmore, PA), Macie Winship (Shrewsbury, MA) and Conway. Brown also returns junior Nancy Baker (Upper Arlington, OH), who may also see time in the midfield, and sophomore Sidney Jacobs (Blue Bell, PA), giving the Bears several options to help anchor the defensive unit. Penikis played in all 15 games a year ago, earning 10 starts, and finished the year with 21 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers, second on the team. Winship played in 14 of 15 games, starting four, while Jacobs started 14 of 15 games played in her first year, finishing with 16 ground balls. Baker played in 14 games a year ago, starting eight, and contributed 5 points (4g, 1a), nine ground balls, 11 draw controls, and five caused turnovers.
Junior Isabel Harvey (Baltimore, MD) returns to anchor Brown between the pipes this season and enters the 2011 campaign already ranked 9th all-time at Brown with 177 career saves. She started 14 games, missing the final game of the season with an injury, and posted a 9.75 GAA and a .410 save percentage with a 7-7 record. Harvey will be challenged by senior Maggie Suprey (South Boston, MA), who returns to the team after a two-year hiatus, and sophomore Brienne Donovan (Gibsonia, PA). As a freshman in 2008, Suprey played in two games and earned a .357 save percentage. Donovan appeared in five games last year and earned a .283 save percentage with 13 saves.
Saturday's game also marks the season opener for Sacred Heart, which served as Brown's 2010 season opener as well. Last year, the Bears cruised to a 14-6 win over the Pioneers at Berylson Family Fields, on the strength of hat-tricks from Waterman and Bethany Buzzell '10, and two goals each from Caldwell, McGilloway, and Kara Kelly '10. Harvey recorded four saves to earn the win, while Waterman had a team-high three caused turnovers. All-time, Brown is 5-0-0 against the Pioneers in a series that began in 2006.
Pictured: Kaela McGilloway '12, Brown's 2010 leading scorer. Photo by DSPics.net.