LILacrossenews.com, Posted 2/15/12
From Press Release
Coming off a 6-10 season in 2011, Hofstra Women’s Lacrosse Coach Abby Morgan is looking for a turnaround in 2012. With 19 players returning from that squad, including seven of the top eight scorers as well as a goalkeeper that led the CAA in saves and save percentage, the Pride possess both the experience and talent to rebound from an off year.
Junior Claire Brady and sophomore Lindsay McKinnon (Fairport) return to anchor the attack. Brady started 10 of 14 games last season and ranked third on the team in scoring with 15 goals and a team-high 17 assists. Brady has been a consistent distributor of the ball in her first two seasons (15 assists as a freshman) and has upped her goal scoring in each of her first two seasons (six goals in 2010 to 15 in 2011). McKinnon was a pleasant surprise as a freshman, scoring 12 goals and adding five assists. She was fourth on the team in goals scored and had arguable the biggest goal of the season for the Pride when she scored the game-winner versus Notre Dame with eight seconds left in the second half. Both Brady and McKinnon will need to continue their offensive production in 2012.
Sophomore Jenn Ward, who played in all 16 games last season, will also play an important role on the Pride attack after tallying 15 goals and four assists in 2011.Ward was a Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie selection last season and her versatility may allow her to slide into a midfielder role as well. Juniors Taylor Albright, Lauren Chandler and Jacquelyn Ardolino, and sophomore Julia Riemer will also fill valuable roles at attack. Albright made seven starts and played in 13 games as a sophomore and contributed three goals and an assist, while Chandler had one goal and one assist in 11 contests. Ardolino will provide an offensive jolt as evidenced by her 12 goals and an assist in 2011 before a season-ending knee injury.
Sophomore Callahan Foley and freshman Kaitlin Ayres will provide added depth at the position. Foley made one appearance for the Pride last season, while Ayres comes to Hofstra from Bethlehem Central High School in upstate New York where she was the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player a year ago.
Hofstra’s midfield may be the deepest and most talented unit on the team led by All-CAA selection Jill Maier. The junior led Hofstra in scoring in 2011 with 37 goals and three assists for 40 points. She was also a catalyst for the Pride offense as she led the team with 43 draw controls. In her first year as Hofstra’s primary offensive threat, Maier showed she was up to the task as she upped her scoring by 15 goals from her freshman season.
Classmate Casey Kellogg started 10 of her 16 games last season and plays a key role as a defensive-minded midfielder. She did contribute on the offensive end with three goals and an assist and showed as a freshman (nine goals) that she is a capable scorer as well.
Senior Maryann Miller and sophomore Alex Mezzanotte also return to midfield roles. Miller, who had missed the entire 2010 season, worked her way back into form in 2011 and finished the year with eight goals and five assists. Mezzanotte had an impressive rookie campaign as she recorded six goals and 10 assists for 16 points. The 10 assists tied her for second on the team. She also added 15 ground balls, which is second among returning players. Both Miller and Mezzanotte are expected to have even bigger roles this season.
Junior Emily von Hollen and sophomore Liz Anders are two other returnees who will be relied on in 2012. Von Hollen scored one goal in six games, while Anders was a consistent presence in the Pride rotation as a freshman with six starts in her 16 games played. Anders provided two goals on the year and also added eight draw controls.
Freshmen April Iannetta (Wantagh), Brittain Altomare and Sam Lenox were each impressive during fall practice and are in line for playing time as well. Iannetta was an All-Nassau County selection at Wantagh High School on Long Island, while Altomare scored 247 goals and added 95 assists during her four-year scholastic career at Middletown High School in Maryland. Lenox was an All-American during her senior campaign at Queen Anne’s County High School in Maryland.
The Pride defense is a mixture of experience and youth, and following the graduation of seniors Katie Hertsch and Bettina Mianulli; Coach Morgan will look for someone to claim a leadership role on the unit.
The leading contender to take on that role is senior Elizabeth Zorovich (Massapequa), who started 11 of 16 games last season and has played in 34 games during her Pride career. In 2011 Zorovich picked up 13 ground balls and had six draw controls and two caused turnovers.
Sophomore Jamie D’Arco also returns and will move into a more prominent role following her stellar play in the fall. As a freshman, D’Arco played in 11 games with one start and had three ground balls. Sophomore transfer Jac Tierney is also in line for playing time after an impressive showing during the fall. Tierney (Massapequa) recorded two goals, five assists, 33 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers at Lenoir-Rhyne University last season. Freshman Abby Wilson’s play also caught the eye of the coaching staff in the fall and the former scholastic star at The John Carroll School in Maryland should see significant playing time in 2012.
Seniors Chrissy Jones and Genna Kovar (Hampton Bays) will also be looking for playing time. Jones played in 14 games as a junior and contributed 10 ground balls. Kovar is in her first season of playing lacrosse after a stellar career on the Pride field hockey team. A gifted natural athlete, Kovar is quickly learning the game and could be an added weapon for Coach Morgan this season.
Sophomore Sam Greiber, who played in four games last season, is recovering from offseason surgery and could potentially return during the season. Another returnee who will miss the year is junior Emily Corzel, who played in all 16 games and started 14 last season.
Senior Jaclyn Pandolf (Sachem North) played every minute of every game last season and posted a 10.17 goals against average, 159 saves and a .491 save percentage. Her 159 saves and .491 percentage led the CAA, while her 10.17 goals against average was fifth in the league. Pandolf is capable of keeping the Pride in any contest as she posted 10 or more saves in 10 of the Pride’s 16 games last season.
Freshman Kelsey Gregerson (South Side) will serve as Pandolf’s understudy and impressed the coaching staff in the fall that she will push for time. Gregerson was an All-Nassau County pick as a senior at South Side High School on Long Island and was one of the top 50 players on Long Island as selected by MSG Varsity.
Hofstra’s non-conference slate is littered with plenty of quality opponents as the nine teams combined for 100 victories and a winning percentage of 62%. In addition, of the nine non-conference opponents, eight had winning records, led by Maryland’s 21-2 mark in 2011.
The Pride open the season with a three-game road trip, starting with the contest at Colgate. Following that game Hofstra will close the month of February with games at Fairfield (February 22) and Boston College (February 25). The Stags and the Eagles each had successful seasons a year ago as they won 13 and 12 games, respectively.
There will be plenty of excitement surrounding Hofstra’s home opener in 2012 as the Maryland Terrapins visit James M. Shuart Stadium on March 4. Maryland was the national runner-up a season ago after winning the national title in 2010.
The Pride also have a trip to California in March, playing a neutral site game against Denver in Berkeley on March 23 before meeting up the Cal two days later.
Hofstra’s CAA slate will be challenging as always. This season the Pride play at defending champion James Madison, Towson, George Mason and Drexel, while hosting Delaware, George Mason and William & Mary.