GW Lacrosse Hosts Howard on Wednesday in Season Opener
Colonials Aim for Return to Atlantic 10 Championship in 2012
Feb. 14, 2012
WASHINGTON - The George Washington lacrosse team opens the 2012 campaign on Wednesday when it hosts District rival Howard (0-1) at 3:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon Field. The Colonials were picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic 10 preseason coaches' poll after posting a 6-11 overall record in 2011.
After finishing fifth in the Atlantic 10 standings in each of the past two seasons, just missing the four-team A-10 Championship, fifth-year head coach Tara Hannaford believes this could be the season GW crosses the threshold and earns a tournament berth for the first time since 2009.
"We're usually right on the edge," said Coach Hannaford.
"We've got really good senior leadership, and they want to end on a high note," said Coach Hannaford.
GW returns a strong offense, including three of the top four scorers from a year ago in senior Sarah Phillips (30 goals, 55 points), Seidman (36 goals, 48 points) and junior Nicole Lacey (27 goals, 38 points).
A two-time Second-Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, Phillips is GW's career assists leader, and she ranks in the top 10 in goals and points. Seidman is among the Colonials' career leaders in both categories as well, while Lacey set a program record with 62 draw controls in 2011, ranking 11th nationally.
Joining Seidman and Lacey on the attack will be freshmen Rachel Mia and Addi Bolin. Mia comes from a national power high school program in Maryland's Severna Park, while Bolin is a high school All-American from Charlottesville, Va., who scored 435 goals in her prep career.
Freshmen Jamie Bumgardner, Nicole Carlton and Casey Dell'Isola will also compete for playing time at attack, while senior Emily Perling likely will not play this year due to injury but will be counted on as a team leader.
"Offensively, I think we have a lot more weapons than we have had," said Coach Hannaford.
Phillips and Disharoon will anchor a midfield unit that will also include freshman Allie Rash, sophomore Terasa Vassallo and junior Soo Mee Yoon. Whereas Phillips is a leader on the attack end of the midfield, Disharoon will be counted on as one of the Colonials' top defenders after ranking in the top 20 in the nation in caused turnovers last season, while also adding 10 goals.
"Casey is really an incredible midfielder," said Coach Hannaford. "She can score in the offensive end, and she's a really good cutter who can also create for her teammates, but she's really aggressive on the defensive end too as she causes a lot of turnovers. She really is the prototypical midfielder."
Rash, who has exceptional vision on the field, made an impact on both ends in high school, scoring 125 goals and causing 96 turnovers in her prep career, while Vassallo and Yoon have both developed significantly since last season and will be expected to step up in 2012 in the absence of sophomore Jordy Bathras, an A-10 All-Rookie selection from a year ago who is recovering from injury.
The 2011 team MVP, Quinn will be the anchor on a relatively young defensive unit. Quinn played nearly every minute of every game last season and earned Second-Team All-Atlantic 10 honors after leading the Colonials with 37 ground balls. She utilizes her speed to cause turnovers and to generate a high clear percentage.
Quinn will be joined by sophomore Madison Pohle, a tough, hard-nosed defender who is hard to get around, as well as junior Caitlyn O'Brien and sophomore Lindsey DiAntonio, who have both developed greatly on the defensive end, and freshmen Jenn Seitz and Rachel Quinn. Freshman Jacqui Stevens was expected to be a contributor on defense this season but is out for the year with a knee injury.
Backing the defense in goal will be junior Jess Hicks, who will be asked to fill the shoes of three-year starter Liz Hoffman. Hicks made 12 saves in 107 minutes last season, but Hannaford is confident she can step up and be a leader. Freshman Mackenzie Jones, an Under Armour All-American, will compete with Hicks for playing time between the pipes.