Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/24/10
From Press Releases and Staff Reports
After struggling through a 4-12 season last year, a much more experienced Temple women’s lacrosse team opens its 2010 season today at Rutgers at 3 p.m.
Fourth-year head coach Bonnie Rosen (Harriton) believes the lessons gained from the year, both on and off the field, will prove to be an asset in 2010.
“Last year on paper you can see the struggles,” said Rosen. “But there was a lot more accomplished last season than would ever show in the stats. There was a lot of learning going on in the program. We had a very large group of freshmen who were starting to contribute, and that led to a lot of youthful mistakes. But really there was a tremendous amount of learning that went on and we are very excited to come back and start this season.
“I think last year is behind us as far as the challenges, but the lessons are with us which will help us be successful.”
The Owls return nine starters and 10 of their top 11 goal-scorers from last year, and Rosen is encouraged both by that and by the talent she sees in the newcomers to the squad.
“The outlook for this year is good,” she said. “We return just about everyone, and that list doesn’t even demonstrate who will be the top scorers this year. We have scoring power already from our freshmen and our transfers.”
The team has four captains this year, seniors Jess Colucci and Tracy Zimmer (Council Rock North/ 32 groundballs, team-high 22 draw controls) along with juniors Alex Shapiro and Ann Stouffer (12 goals). Rosen said the class of six freshmen – four of which are from Philly – has provided much depth.
“The six freshmen have come in more mature than I could have expected,” said Rosen. “We were really excited about them as a recruiting class, but they’ve already exceeded my expectations on and off the field, which is incredible. I expect them to be able to make an impact right away, and they’ve all learned very quickly. Our two sophomore transfers both bring a year of experience as college lacrosse players, and they have stepped right in and made an impact.”
Colucci will play a major role as the Owls’ starting goalkeeper, which she has been since the start of the 2009 season. With 229 career saves, Colucci begins the season ranked 10th all-time at Temple.
Five players with 11 or more goals in 2009 return to the lineup, led by sophomore Melissa Schweitzer (Owen J. Roberts) who scored 17 goals and senior Chelsea Rosiek (Wissahickon), who tallied a team-best 14 assists.
The defense will be anchored by Zimmer, a senior who started all 16 games last year and recorded 32 ground balls along with a team-best 22 draw controls and 18 caused turnovers.
Other returning starters include Kelsey Zenuk (St. Mark’s, DE/Aston/ 13 goals), senior Lindsey Colferai, and sophomores Jen Homka (Garnet Valley), Lauren Caminiti (North Penn) and Jackie Mercer. Other Philly players include juniors Nicholle St. Pierre (Owen J. Roberts), sophomores Allison McWilliams (Avon Grove), Shelby Christopher (Avon Grove), Keelin Hood (Great Valley), Stephanie Markunas (Ridley) and Lauren Fisher (Ridley) and freshmen Steph Parcell (Interboro), Kellee Pace (Chichester), Charlotte Swavola (Cheltenham) and Antonia Falcone (Perkiomen Valley).
Temple will face two ranked opponents at either end of the season. The Owls’ first home game is against No. 3 Penn on March 3, and after the A-10 Tournament, Temple will travel to No. 18 Penn State.
“It’s wonderful to have Penn and Penn State on our schedule,” says Rosen. “Those are two huge highlights.” Rosen also singles out the team’s trip to Jacksonville in the middle of March as a highlight. “That trip will probably be a defining moment of our season in terms of the time we spend together,” she says.