BRIDGEWATER, Va. – After a solid 2012 season with the most conference wins in a decade, the Bridgewater Eagles women's lacrosse team is looking to grow and improve under head coach Kim Lowry and new assistant coach Lauren Sokol when the season starts on March 2 at home against Frostburg State University.
"I'm excited for us to carry our momentum from last season into this season; we ended the season with the most conference wins in a decade and I expect to do even better this year," said Lowry.
Last season, the Eagles posted six wins, four of which were Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) victories. Out of the 10 losses, three were one-point losses to Ferrum College, Roanoke College and an overtime loss at home against Randolph Macon College.
Bridgewater returns three other attackers alongside Chamberlain for the upcoming 2013 season, while adding four freshmen to the mix.
Chamberlain will continue to lead the attackers after pacing the way for the Eagles last season with 54 goals and 20 assists. The junior was among the leaders in the conference with her 54 goals and cracked the top 10 in five separate conference-only categories.
"Every year, I expect more from Taylor. She is a captain this year, so I am expecting her to have more of a voice on and off the field and be a more dynamic offensive threat, as teams certainly know who she is now," commented Lowry.
Junior Katie Freeman brings experience to the team, being second on the team with 43 goals last season.
"Last year, Katie really stepped out of her shell and proved to be an offensive powerhouse for us. We relied on her to finish shots under pressure and she executed," said Lowry. "She has the ability to change momentum single-handedly in a game and we expect her to dominate opponent's defenses this season."
Sophomore Jordyn Hutchins will return after scoring seven goals and earning 16 draw controls last season. The fourth returning attacker, Alissa Miller, tallied four goals, netting a career high two goals against Hollins as a rookie.
Waldron was named as the lacrosse team's Most Valuable Player in 2009 at Deep Run High School. A native of Taneytown, Md., Devilbiss competed for Francis Scott Key High School and has a sister that currently plays on the Lynchburg volleyball team. Engman played for the Brentsville High School Tigers and posted a 10-4 senior season. Fletcher will come in as an attacker for the Eagles after graduating from Trinity Episcopal High School.
"Our first year players are continuing to impress the coaching staff with how quickly they are learning our style both offensively and defensively. Our system is not a traditional one, so them being able to grasp concepts quickly has allowed us to progress quickly in our preseason," Lowry commented.
The Eagles will be heavy laden with freshmen in the midfielder position with only two returners, Hennessy and junior Peggy Russell.
Hennessy will pace the way for the midfielders after seeing action in 16 games with 14 starts and leading the team with 43 draw controls last season.
"Paige was dominant on the draw and in our attack last year; this year I expect her to add to her defensive game," added Lowry. "She will be our leader in the midfield."
Russell saw more action last season by competing in 15 games, earning six starts. The Baltimore, Md. native will give the Eagles experience at the midfielder position.
Lowry brought in a number of freshmen to the midfield with four total newcomers. Alexa Miller received second team All-District honors from Potomac Falls High School. A Walkersville, Md. native, Audrey Kordek netted 28 goals and dished out 15 assists during her senior season. After competing for the Francis Scott Key Eagles and receiving three All-Conference selections throughout her high school career, Carli Bafford will continue her career as a Bridgewater Eagle. Jesse Colligan graduated from Fairfax High School and posted a 7-5 senior season.
"Our first year players are versatile, which will allow us to utilize them in different positions – this is something we haven't had in the past. This depth will allow us to push the ball a little more and play a more up-tempo game," said Lowry of her freshmen.
On the defensive end, Key will take a leadership role, being a threat as both a defender, as well as an occasional midfielder. The Knoxville, Md. native's ability as a utility player allowed her to net three goals, pick up 15 ground balls and force 10 turnovers last season.
"Savannah will be one of our veteran anchors on defense this year. I know her experience will help her lead our defensive unit," Lowry added.
The Eagles will return three other defenders alongside Key and only add one freshman to the fray.
Junior Malinda Britt saw action in 14 games in 2012 after missing the 2011 season due to injury and dished out her first career assist in a 13-12 double overtime victory at Virginia Wesleyan.
Sophomores Brittany Lanahan and Caroline Augsburger picked up 20 and 24 groundballs last season, respectively. Augsburger saw the majority of her time as a midfielder and will continue to be an effective utility player this season.
Kordek is a freshman that may be seeing minutes on the defensive end as well.
Sophomore Laura Reynolds will be returning to the Eagles as their primary goalkeeper after a solid 2012 season. Having saw 927 minutes in the cage, Reynolds posted 119 saves and notched a 12.42 GAA.
"We are expecting Laura to be a little more refined, more of a presence and offer us stability defensively this season, after her impressive improvements in the cage last year," said Lowry.
To assist Reynolds in the cage, Lowry added freshman Katie LaBranche, who competed for the Fauquier Falcons and went 9-7 her senior season, finishing second in the district overall.
"Katie offers quick instincts and fearlessness between the pipes. I think both goalkeepers will challenge each other in practice," commented Lowry.
On March 2, the Eagles will open up their regular season play at home against Frostburg State, followed by two more home games the next week. The women's first road trip game will be in Clermont, Florida and will pick up back home at Jopson Lacrosse Field on March 21 against the Shenandoah University Hornets.