LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 1/24/14
From Press Release
The Hofstra Women’s Lacrosse program, which returns 10 starters and 23 letterwinners from last year’s squad that advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship Game, has started preparations for the 2014 campaign with the opening of their official practice season.
The program has high expectations for the 2014 season as the team returns its top three point scorers who accounted for 119 of the Pride’s 259 points.
There is plenty of talent on both sides of the field returning for Hofstra in 2014 as the Pride returns five of its top six scorers from 2013, while the Pride also brings back its top eight ground ball leaders from a season ago, its top 12 caused turnover leaders and six of its top seven draw control leaders.
The returning talent isn’t just on the offensive end, though, as the Pride’s defense and goalie positions are also returning to help lead Hofstra in 2014.
Hofstra won 11 games in 2013, the first at the helm for Head Coach Shannon Smith and the second year skipper will look to lead the team to even greater heights in her second year. The 11 wins were the most for Hofstra since the 2010 team won 12 games and last season’s appearance in the CAA title game was the program’s first since the 2010 campaign.
On the offensive end, Hofstra is bolstered by the return of junior attacker Brittain Altomare, senior attacker Julia Riemer and sophomore midfielder Becky Conto. Those three were the Pride’s top scorers last year as Brittain Altomare led Hofstra with 69 points on team-highs of 34 goals and 35 assists. She also added 34 draw controls, 23 ground balls and nine caused turnovers. Riemer ranked second on the Pride in scoring with 29 points on 25 goals and four assists during her breakout junior season, while Conto added 16 goals and five assists for 21 points.
Altomare and junior defender April Iannetta will team up to give Hofstra a very dangerous one-two punch this season. The 2013 CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Iannetta was recently named a preseason Third Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse after totaling 53 draw controls, 50 ground balls and 40 caused turnovers, while also adding in 12 goals and six assists for 18 points. In addition to the defensive player of the year award, Iannetta was also an Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Mid-Atlantic All-Region First Team selection and a first team All-CAA honoree in 2013.
Brittain Altomare was a second team IWLCA Mid-Atlantic All-Region pick last year and also garnered first team all-conference accolades as well. Conto will start her second season in a Pride uniform as the reigning CAA Rookie of the Year as she captured the award a season ago.
In addition to Iannetta on the defensive side of the ball, Hofstra also returns junior goalie Kelsey Gregerson and sophomore defender Shelby Milne. Gregerson played in all 19 games last year and had a solid 8.40 goals against average while making 121 saves. Milne was a CAA All-Rookie team honoree after notching 30 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers in her rookie season.
Hofstra, under the direction of Smith, will look to take the next step in 2014. The Pride advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship Game in 2013, and with a solid core of returnees and a talented group of newcomers on the roster, the goal of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament remains as the ultimate result.
Hofstra opens the 2014 campaign on Saturday, February 15 when it travels to New Hampshire for a 12 p.m. game. After a season-opening three-game road trip, the Pride will host its first home game on Tuesday, February 25 when Maryland visits James M. Shuart Stadium for a 5:30 p.m. game.