Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/12/09
Strath Haven’s Annalise Penikis, who helped lead the Panthers into the first Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) championship game, heads the list of nine recruits for Lehigh University.
The Mountain Hawks are coached by second-year mentor Jill Redfern, an Ursinus College graduate.
Redfern recently announced the Cass of 2013, which includes Penikis (of Swarthmore), Celia Belmonte (Fair Haven, N.J.), Kenzie Dambach (Chester, N.J.), MaryLeah DiNisco (Newbury, Mass.), Alissa Hardiman (Medford, N.J.), Ashton Hellmuth (Alexandria, Va.), Megan Kelly (Mendham, N.J.), Anna Patterson (Severna Park, Md.), and Carolyn Trespasz (Manlius, N.Y.). Seven of the nine newest Mountain Hawks earned All-America honors during their high school careers.
“This is an accomplished group of student-athletes,” Redfern said. “Their spirit and enthusiasm for Lehigh lacrosse is obvious. They have aspirations of a championship and share our upperclass players’ vision of achieving our goal of becoming a nationally recognized lacrosse program.”
The class capsules include:
Annalise Penikis is an attacker/midfielder who helped lead her team to the state finals and the third spot in the District 1 tournament. She served as captain her senior year, and was an All-American Honorable Mention, First Team All-Central, and First Team All-Delco selection. Penikis was also the recipient of the Coach’s Award, and scored a total of 98 goals to go along with 51 assists this past season. Off the field, she is a Peer Educator, Taylor Hospital Volunteer, Kids on the Block performer and leader, and an Expanding Your Horizons volunteer. Penikis is also a member of student council and youth group. In addition to her athletic achievements, she was a National Merit Commended Student. Penikis was the recipient of the Advanced Placement Scholar Award, Character Recognition Award, and was a US Lacrosse Academic All-American.
Celia Belmonte, from Fair Haven, New Jersey. Belmonte graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, where she was a four year varsity letter winner and senior captain. She finished her career tenth in the state of New Jersey in scoring, with 309 points (204 goals and 105 assists) and earned honorable mention All-America accolades in 2009. As a senior, Belmonte was a Second Team All-State selection, and First Team All-Shore Conference. Belmonte was second in the Shore Conference in scoring with 128 total points (74 goals, and 54 assists), and her team won Shore Conference “A” Central Division championship. Belmonte was the 2009 recipient of the Monmouth County Directors of Athletics Sportsmanship Award, and also the Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldog Booster Club Female Athlete of the Year Scholarship Award. Belmonte is also a four year varsity letter winner in soccer, and was senior captain. Off the field, she is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honors Society. She received the 2009 Edward J. Boulstein Distinguished Scholars Award, the Gold medal of President’s Education Award, the Viola L. Sickles Memorial Scholarship Award, and the RFH PTSA Scholarship Award.
Kenzie Dambach is a defender from Chester, New Jersey where she graduated from West Morris Mendham High School. Dambach was a First Team All-Area, First Team All-Conference, and First Team All-Morris County selection. She also received Second Team All-State, as well as Honorable Mention All-America honors, and was named MVP of the Morris County Tournament. Off the field, she is a member of Steps Lacrosse and High Honor Roll.
A goal keeper from Newbury, Massachusetts, MaryLeah DiNisco was a four-year starter at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts, where she played all but 50 minutes during her career in between the pipes. DiNisco totaled 633 saves in over 1,144 minutes, earning All-America honors in 2008 and honorable mention All-America honors this past season. A two-time All-League selection, DiNisco also participated in basketball where she earned a pair of All-League accolades, and soccer, where she was a three-year member of the program. In addition to her on-field success, DiNisco volunteers with the Special Olympics, she serves as a Peer Advisor, and is a member of the Youth Conservation Corps.
Arriving by way of Shawnee High School, Alissa Hardiman is a defender from Medford, New Jersey. Hardiman is a 2009 honorable mention All-American, a two-time First-Team All-Conference selection and a two-time First-Team All-South Jersey selection. In addition she received South Jersey All-Star laurels, a spot on the All-Burlington County First-Team, as well as First-Team All-Group 3 accolades. She was also named a 2009 First-Team All-South Jersey selection by the Courier Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Hardiman was a two-year captain of the Shawnee basketball team, a four-year member of the Honor Roll, a recipient of the People’s Choice Award, and she participated in French Club, FCCLA, DECA and Shawnee Volunteers.
A midfielder from Alexandria, Virginia, Ashton Hellmuth is a First Team All-America selection from Bishop Ireton High School. In addition to her All-American selection, Hellmuth was also First Team All-State, First-Team Washington Post All-Metropolitan, and a two year First-Team WCAC (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) selection. She served as captain her senior year, and set the record for most goals in a career at Bishop Ireton High School with 180. Off the field, Hellmuth is a member of the Pro-Life Club, Cardinal Crazies Club, Economics Club, and Culinary Club. She also earned second honors her sophomore through senior year of high school.
Megan Kelly is a midfielder from Mendham, New Jersey where she graduated from Mendham High School. Kelly was a two time First-Team All-American, two time First-Team All-Conference selection, two time First-Team All-Area, and two time First-Team-All County. She was also a two time All-State selection, and All-Area Player of the Year as named by the Daily Record in 2009. Her high school team won the Morris County Tournament championship three times, the Iron Hills Conference championship four times, and the State Group championship three times. The team also made three state tournament appearances, advancing to the state finals once. Kelly was also a First Team All-County and All-Conference selection in field hockey, where she served as team captain her senior year and was voted team MVP. Off the field, Kelly is a member of the National Honor Society, and PALS (Project Adventure Leadership Services).
A midfielder from Severna Park, Maryland, Anna Patterson was a First-Team All-County selection at Severna Park High School where she helped lead her team to three state championships. In addition, the team also won three regional championships, and two county championships. Patterson was selected as a 2009 All-Metro Honorable Mention, and was a top Scholar-Athlete. Off the field, she is a member of the National Honor Society, and a 4-H Camp Counselor.
Carolyn Trespasz is a defender from Manlius, New York where she graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School. As a senior, she served as team captain, helping to lead her high school to a league championship, and was a Third-Team All-League selection. She was voted most improved, and was the recipient of the Clarence E. Gaffey Memorial Award. Off the field, Trespasz is a member of Peer Helpers, the National Honor Society, Science Honors Society, a Scholar Athlete and a recipient of the Silver Key art Award.