The Brown women's lacrosse team begins its challenging 2013 campaign this Saturday, February 23rd, with a 1:00 pm contest against George Mason, in Fairfax, Virginia. More than one third of the Bears' opponents this season, including five Ivy foes, are ranked in the pre-season top 20.
Captains Lindsay Minges '13 (Rochester, NY), Tara Rooke '13 (Wilbraham, MA) and Bre Hudgins '14 (Syracuse, NY), will lead the Bears' efforts to improve upon their 6-8 record (1-6 Ivy League) from last season. "The captains have been critical in the development of our leadership," said head coach Keely McDonald '00. "They are fearless, always lead by example, and willing to have the hard conversations with their peers. They have put in significant work to develop this squad and I am proud of their growth and bravery over the last few months."
Hudgins, who tallied 29 points (23 goals, 6 assists) in 2012, will help lead the attack. The Bears will also rely on Danielle Mastro '14 (Endicott, NY) this season. She posted 22 points (16 goals, 6 assists) a year ago and led the team with three game-winning goals. Hudgins and Mastro were second and fifth in scoring for the Bears last season. "After graduating great attack leaders Julia Keller '12 and Kaela McGilloway '12, who ranks second all-time at Brown in points, fresh faces will have an opportunity to step into leadership roles this year," said McDonald. "It has been an exciting to watch different players develop." Veterans Lucinda Caldwell '14 (Florham Park, NJ) and Janie Gion '15 (Northfield, IL) will look to contribute to the attack, along with newcomers, Ariana Lanpher '16 (Winter Park, FL), Sarah Nesi '16 (Westport, CT), and Dianne Vitkus '16 (Skaneateles, NY).
Minges, Rooke, and Erin Roos ' 14 (Wilmette, IL) will anchor a midfield unit comprised mostly of freshman and sophomores. Roos, who earned second team All-Ivy honors last season, led the team with 21 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers. Her 1.50 caused turnovers per game was third in the Ivy League. Grace Healy'14 (Bellport, NY) led the team with 44 draw controls in 2012 and enters her junior season ranked third all-time at Brown with 95 career draw controls. Alyssa DiBona '15 (Media, PA) started in all 14 games during her rookie season and totaled 20 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers. Abby Bunting '15 (Wellesly, MA), who tallied six goals and 16 ground balls last season, will also provide midfield experience for the Bears. Kasey Wagner '13 (Southborough, MA), Whitney Flynn '14 (Concord, MA), Julia Carrellas '15 (Middletown, RI) and Meghan O'Brien '15 (Bethesda, MD) will all add to the midfield this season. Maeve Flaherty '16 (Westport, CT), Rebecca Dahle '16 (Wynnewood, PA), Lauren Toy '16 (Kentfield, CA) and Carolyn Westphal '16 (Lancaster, PA) will all look to contribute immediately in their first season.
Sidney Jacobs '13 (Blue Bell, PA), Marisa Dale '14 (North Salem, NY) and Abbey Van Horne '14 (Ridgewood, NJ) return to lead the Brown defense. Van Horne started all 14 games in 2012, earning 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers. Jacobs and Dale appeared in all 14 games, both causing three turnovers, and earning seven and eight ground balls, respectively. "With the most experience returning on defense, assistant coach Meg Miller is encouraging and challenging this group to be next-level thinkers and to push the limits on their play," said McDonald. Hannah Organschi '15 (Guilford, CT), Elizabeth Saltonstall '15 (Hingham, MA) and Richael Walsh '16 (Westwood, MA) will strengthen the Bears' defense this season.
Kellie Roddy '15 (Poway, CT) played an instrumental role in goal last season, posting 52 saves, an 11.55 goals against average, and a .359 save percentage during her rookie campaign. Newcomer Victoria Holland '16 (Huntington, NY) will look to contribute in goal as well. Of volunteer assistant coach Andrew Szurley, McDonald added "[he] has been doing solid technical work with Kellie and Tori. Both goalies are developing daily and challenging our shooters to be better."
New assistant coach, Sarah Holden, joins McDonald's, Miller's, and Szurley's quest to develop the abundant young talent on the team. McDonald lauds Holden's immediate impact saying, "Our midfield, draw specialists and attacking units have benefited from [her] expertise and experience. She brings a passionate and fresh approach to the team."
McDonald emphasizes the skill and determination present throughout the team, "The upperclassmen are headlined by a unified and driven senior group, backed up by a determined junior class. The sophomores and freshman will also be pushed to lead in their actions on and off the field. We can't wait to begin 2013 with this courageous group of women. We are so thankful to our alumnae and parent group for their support and for helping us represent Brown University with pride. Like the women before, this team bleeds Brown."
Brown plays its first Ivy League competition, and first game on the newly-turfed Stevenson Field, on Saturday, March 2nd at 1:00 p.m. Support the Bears as they battle for the opportunity to represent Brown at the 2013 Ivy League Tournament, May 3-5.
Pictured: Abbey Van Horne '14. Photo by DSPics.net.