Feb. 13, 2013
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WASHINGTON – The George Washington lacrosse team heads down the road to open its 2013 campaign at district foe Howard on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Greene Memorial Stadium.
The Colonials open the season against the Bison for the third straight year and look to remain undefeated against their crosstown opponent as they currently own a 5-0 all-time record.
Though it serves as the season opener for GW, Howard owns a 0-1 record after falling to Winthrop last Friday. The Bison dropped a 20-10 decision to the Eagles in their season opener, and Jaymie Cox and Courtney Lackey led the squad with three goals apiece.
"We are excited to get the season underway and see what we are able to produce on the field," sixth-year head coach Tara Hannaford said. "Every game on our schedule will be competitive and that is the type of atmosphere this team likes to play in."
2013 GW LACROSSE SEASON PREVIEW
With a new assistant coaching staff and the addition of eight freshmen to the squad, the George Washington lacrosse team will debut a fresh look this season and is ready to take the field to prove what it’s made of.
Entering its 11th year of competition, GW looks to return to the Atlantic 10 Championship for the second time in as many years and third time in head coach Tara Hannaford’s tenure. The Colonials return 15 players from the 2012 squad that produced a 10-7 overall record (the most wins in a season since 2007) and a 4-3 record in the Atlantic 10, while also welcoming eight newcomers to the squad, all of whom garnered playing experience during fall ball in 2012.
The Buff and Blue return all-time and single-season draw control record holder in senior Nicole Lacey, who was the squad’s fourth leading scorer one year ago (26 goals, 33 points), in addition to A-10 All-Rookie Team selections Rachel Mia (21 goals, 22 points) and Allie Rash (11 goals, 18 points). The Colonials also return senior Jess Hicks and sophomore Mackenzie Jones between the pipes to man the Colonials’ defense.
GW lost six players from last season’s team, including all-time assists and points leader Sarah Phillips, as well as second all-time goal scorer Megan Seidman. Though this year’s team is younger than in seasons past, Hannaford is confident that shoes will be filled and that the change will prove to be a positive step for the program.
“We are a different team this year and we are looking forward to a fresh start,” Hannaford said. “We have a new leadership group and everyone is stepping up. Everyone started to play really well together toward the end of fall ball so we are ready to get on the field and show what we are made of.”
Lacey, one of four seniors on the team, brings a wealth of experience and guidance to the Colonials’ front line. With her veteran leadership and knowledge, Hannaford looks for Lacey to have a big impact on offense and set the tone of play, along with Rash and classmate Jamie Bumgardner.
“Jamie has progressed remarkably from last season and it has been really fun to watch her grow as a player,” said Hannaford. “Allie has a great game sense and she knows how the attack runs and how to set everyone up. She will dictate what our offense runs.”
Sophomore Casey Dell’Isola and freshmen Simone Haugen, Gabbi Hull and Hallie Walker will also compete for playing time in the attack.
“Gabbi is a sneaky, savvy attacker while Hallie is really strong when she goes to goal,” Hannaford said. “Simone has a strong shot and she does a great job working the crease. I expect to see a lot of production from these three on the offensive end.”
With a combination of attackers as well as defense-minded players, Hannaford looks for the midfield line to make an impact on both ends of the field.
“We have several players who are capable of putting the ball in the back of the net and are able to create different looks that we might not have seen in the past,” Hannaford said. “This team is really athletic and we are going to use that to our advantage.”
Junior Jordy Bathras will serve as GW’s go-to player in the midfield and is expected to make the biggest impact on attack. Senior Soo Mee Yoon – who missed the majority of last season due to injury – and juniors Lindsey DiAntonio and Terasa Vassallo return to the lineup, and with the addition of freshman Olivia Boudreau, are expected to convert quick 1-v-1 attacks into goals. Mia, GW’s fifth leading scorer with 21 goals during her rookie campaign, is transitioning to midfield from attack, and will also be joined by Hull.
“Our midfield attackers are quick and athletic, which in turn brings our team to a different level,” said Hannaford. “We have gaps to fill on the offensive end and I think the midfielders will help tremendously.”
Contributing on the defensive end will be rookies Cara Dellavecchia, Ellie Glasgow and Julia Lawson.
A duo of veterans in senior Caitlyn O’Brien and junior Madison Pohle will patrol the back line and provide leadership to a strong defense. Sophomores Rachel Quinn and Jenn Seitz will also be looked at to help control the tempo of the game and limit scoring opportunities against the Colonials.
“Jenn is one of the best defenders on this team and we depend on her a lot to help regulate our opponents’ attack. Rachel is a very smart player and she could potentially see some action in midfield as well,” Hannaford said. “Caitlyn and Madison are very intense players and their energy will help raise our level of play.”
Adding to the defensive line are Dellavecchia and Lawson, in addition to classmate Becca Taub.
Senior goalkeeper Jess Hicks will anchor the Colonials’ defense between the pipes this season. After a breakout junior year in which she made 121 saves – good enough for ninth on GW’s all-time list – Hicks is set to return to goal where she will direct action on the field.
“Jess had a great season in 2012 and we expect her to do even better this year,” said Hannaford. “She is the ultimate leader and does a great job placing players on the field and directing them throughout the game.”
Backing up Hicks in goal is sophomore Mackenzie Jones. Jones saw action in five games and logged two starts last year while she made 16 saves. With her quickness and desire, Hannaford believes Jones has the ability to compete with Hicks for time in the net.
GW will face two first-ever opponents and host 10 contests as part of a 16-game schedule this season, which features two teams that were ranked in the final Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll of 2012, in addition to one NCAA Tournament qualifier.
After posting an impressive 6-1 mark on their home field one season ago, the Colonials will host 10 games at the GW Lacrosse Field on the Mount Vernon Campus, marking the most-ever home contests in program history. Following its season opener at Howard on Feb. 16, GW hosts a five-game homestand beginning on Feb. 22 against Denver and wrapping on March 7 against Holy Cross in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
GW opens Atlantic 10 play on Friday, March 29 against Richmond and welcomes La Salle one week later. The Colonials head to Amherst, Mass., to take on reigning conference champion Massachusetts on April 7 then returns home for their final home matches of the season against St. Bonaventure and Duquesne. Prior to the contest with the Dukes on Sunday, April 5, GW will honor its four seniors – Jess Hicks, Nicole Lacey, Caitlyn O’Brien and Soo Mee Yoon.
The Buff and Blue wrap the regular season with back-to-back road contests in Philadelphia, Pa., against Temple and Saint Joseph’s.
The 15th annual Atlantic 10 Championship will be held from April 26-28 in Amherst, Mass., at the Minutewomen's Warren P. McGurik Alumni Stadium. The A-10 championship is a single-elimination, four-team event, with the first-round winners advancing to the championship game. The winner of the championship will receive the league's automatic bid to compete in the NCAA Tournament.
For a full release on the Colonials’ 2013 schedule, please click here.