Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/24/10
From Press Releases
The Lehigh women’s lacrosse squad will hit the practice field for the first time on Mondayas the Mountain Hawks begin their quest towards a Patriot League title. Second year head coach Jill Redfern (Ursinus College) has a talented and experienced roster to work with which includes the last three Patriot League Rookies of the Year as well as last season’s Offensive Player of the Year.
“During the first few weeks we’ll spend a lot of time on skill work and fundamentals,” Redfern said. “The girls will also work with (strength and conditioning coach) Eric (Markovcy) on getting more fit and we’ll implement our offensive and defensive sets.
“Team defense is going to be a big priority for us; we have seen huge gains in this area from last year but have more work to do to get where we need to be.”
Lehigh returns six All-Patriot League performers from a season ago, including seniors Inneke Carmola and Kelsy Ferris. Carmola has been named to the All-League team each of her first three seasons in the Brown and White, including a First-Team selection last year. Carmola ranks among the nation’s active leaders with 116 goals and 51 assists during her career, including 28 and 25 a season ago. Ferris meanwhile has garnered a spot on the All-League teams the past two seasons and she enters her senior year with 474 saves and 29 victories.
Leading the way for Lehigh on offense is junior captain Lauren Dykstra, the 2009 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. Dykstra ranked among the national leaders with 67 goals and 75 points a season ago, while her 82 ground balls led the country. In two seasons the marketing major has totaled 131 goals, which is just outside the top-five in program history.
“I think we had a very good fall, but we still need to learn from it and improve in some areas. We played some really good teams like Rutgers, Penn State and Johns Hopkins and I thought we played well and learned more about our strengths and weaknesses.
“Our defense is getting better and better, but we still need to work on improving our communication. As for our offense, we will work more on controlling the ball and being patient and waiting for the right shot. In the midfield we learned that we need to rely more on the passing game instead of simply running with it through the field. I am really excited for this season and I have high hopes for us.”
Another of Lehigh’s All-League selections from last season is sophomore Leigh Ann Torcivia. Torcivia walked onto the team a year ago and responded with 12 starts, 41 ground balls, two goals and an assist. Torcivia’s speed also aided her in winning 37 draw controls and causing 11 turnovers.
“We initiated the commitment to communication last year and I think the girls are embracing the fact that strong communication, on and off the field, will have a significant impact,” Redfern said.
“This group has different aspirations,” Redfern added. “They are willing to work at a different level and have high expectations for the season.”
Other returning Mountain Hawks include 2009 Patriot League Rookie of the Year Kelly Draper, who burst onto the scene last year with 37 goals and 44 points; two-time All-League honoree Allison Thomas (Conestoga), who has started each game during the past two seasons and totaled 40 goals; Kindall Healy, who started 11 games in 2009 and scooped up 18 ground balls; and Lauren Murray who scored 12 goals as a freshman, while starting six contests. Alison Luongo, Morgan Miller, Anna Pierce and Lindsey Smith (Downingtown West) round out the list of Lehigh’s returning upperclassmen.
One of Lehigh’s top freshmen is attack Annalise Penikis, a Strath Haven grad who scored 98 goals for a team that went to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association finals in 2009.
Lehigh will compete in one scrimmage day on Feb. 14 before opening the season on Feb. 20 versus Mount St. Mary’s at the Ulrich Sports Complex.