Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/4/12
Lehigh head women’s lacrosse coach Jill Redfern announced the Mountain Hawks’ incoming class of 2016 on Monday, which features nine student-athletes from five different states. The group includes All-Americans, Academic All-Americans and more as they’ll look to help the Mountain Hawks continue their recent success in 2013.
“The nine student-athletes in this class are strong competitors who will impact our program early in their careers,” said Redfern. “They will add offensive production, midfield speed and overall athleticism to our team. We are excited to see how them on the field with our upperclass athletes.”
One Pennsylvania native is Kris Abens from Unionville High School while three come from Maryland, two from New Jersey and New York, and one from Florida.
“This is a driven, dynamic group of individuals who have great aspirations for themselves and for Lehigh Women’s Lacrosse,” said associate head coach Kelley Negioglu. “We look forward to their arrival on campus and watching them grow over the next four years.”
For a complete player-by-player rundown of all nine incomers, please see below:
Kris Abens • M • Kennett Square, Pa. • Arts and Sciences
A multi-sport athlete at Unionville High School, Abens played lacrosse, soccer, basketball, tennis and cross country. She was Second Team All-Chesmont at attack while leading the team in scoring and finishing third in assists. Also strong in the classroom, Abens was an Academic All-American and member of the Distinguished Honor Roll. Abens took first place in the 2011 Marshman triathlon.
The Coaching Staff on Abens: “Kris will add athleticism and intense competition to our midfield. She is a talented driver who can finish and feed.”
Elizabeth Johnson • D • Moorestown, N.J. • Business
A three-year varsity standout at Moorestown High School, Johnson enjoyed a highly successful lacrosse and field hockey career. She helped lead her lacrosse squad to the Group III State Championship as both a junior and senior. Meanwhile, Moorestown was New Jersey State Tournament of Champions runner-up (2011) and winner (2012). A two-time Academic All-American and First Team Burlington County Scholastic League honoree, Johnson also earned Second Team All-South Jersey and First Team Liberty Division as a senior. In addition, Johnson played in the South Jersey Senior All-Star Game this past year. She began her career on Junior Varsity in 2009, helping Moorestown win both Group II and the New Jersey State Tournament of Champions. Johnson has other lacrosse experience with South Jersey Select Lacrosse Pink 12 (2006-11) and Moorestown Lacrosse Club (2004-08). She competed in the National Tournament (Schoolgirls Division) in 2010 and 2011 as part of New Jersey South First Team. Johnson was also a standout on the field hockey team as a three-year varsity member and senior captain when she helped lead Moorestown to the 2011 Central Jersey Group 3 Championship. A two-time Second Team Burlington County Scholastic League honoree and 2010 Honorable Mention All-South Jersey recipient, Johnson also played on Mystx Hockey Club and Model Hockey Club while taking part in the USFHA Futures Program.
The Coaching Staff on Johnson:”Elizabeth brings size and game-sense to our defensive end. She is a capable one-v-one defender who slides well in a defensive unit.”
Kendall Garden • M • Davidsonville, Md. • Arts and Sciences
Garden was a star lacrosse and field hockey player at Archbishop Spalding High School in Maryland. A team captain, Garden received numerous awards over her career including: First Team All-IAAM Conference, First Team Anne Arundel County, First Team Private School Coaches for Anne Arundel Country and First Team All-Met (from the Washington Post). In addition, Garden was a two-time Academic All-American, impressing in the classroom on the Honor Roll and National Honor Society both junior and senior year. In field hockey, Garden was a two-time First Team All-County and Second Team All-State honoree, while garnering team MVP laurels. She was chosen by the school’s Athletic Director to represent Spalding at an All-Conference Leadership Workshop for Athletes.
The Coaching Staff on Garden: “Kendall is a gritty attacker who prides herself on her defense. She is tenacious and tough. Kendall competes hard for every ball in practice and in competition.”
Nicole Isdaner • M • Jupiter, Fla. • Arts and Sciences
Standout at Jupiter High School in Florida, Isdaner was a four-year member of the lacrosse team, posting 240 career goals, 120 assists, 125 groundballs and 195 draw controls. A First Team All-Conference, All-District and All-Area honoree, Isdaner played on the South Florida National Team all three years. She also played in the Under Armour All-America Games for the South team while earning Honorable Mention All-American and Second Team All-State. Strong in the classroom, Isdaner was a four-year member of the honor roll and a Business Pathfinder nominee.
The Coaching Staff on Isdaner: “Nikki will add spark to our midfield. She is fast, fit and determined. We look forward to the type of work ethic she will bring to practice each day.”
Victoria Kotowski • M/A • Lloyd Harbor, N.Y. • Political Science
Kotowski enjoyed a decorated career at Cold Spring Harbor High School as a member of varsity beginning in the eighth grade. She capped off her career with First Team All-America honors senior year, posting a school-record 275 career points via 172 goals and 103 assists as the team’s leading scorer since ninth grade. A senior captain, Kotowski was a three-year All-County honoree (2010, 2011, 2012) while also earning All-Conference laurels in 2009. She garnered New York Newsday Player of the Week honors in each of her four years and was MVP of the Long Island Challenge. Also in 2009, Kotowski was a member of the Under Armour All-American Underclass Team, one of only six freshmen nationwide on the squad. Kotowski had a standout field hockey career as well, starting on varsity since the ninth grade. She racked in numerous honors, including: All-Conference in 2009 and First Team All-County in 2010. Then in 2011, she became the first from her school to earn All-State honors and garnered First Team All-Long Island as the team’s leading scorer. In the classroom, Kotowski was on the High Honor Roll all four years with a cumulative GPA of 3.80. Scholar-Athlete each year on varsity, she earned the Distinguished Athlete Award in 2012 and was a member of SADD, Varsity Leaders Club, French Club and the Senior Slideshow Committee (President). Kotowski is a member of the Cold Spring Harbor Hall of Fame for both lacrosse and field hockey.
The Coaching Staff on Kotowski: “Victoria is a powerful attacker and a steely competitor. She is also very strong on the draw.”
Lauren Molina • A • Riva, Md. • Biology
Stellar on the field and in the classroom at St. Mary’s in Maryland, Molina was a four-year member of her high school lacrosse team. On varsity as a junior and senior, Molina served as team captain in 2012. She was selected as “High School Underclassman to Watch” by ESPN Rise, named an All-Impact Player in 2012 and garnered the Unsung Hero Award. Leading into her senior year, Molina was named St. Mary’s key returning player by The Capital. Also stellar in the classroom, she was a US Lacrosse Academic All-American while receiving the Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Junior Athletic Service Award for athletic excellence in lacrosse, academic achievement and leadership. Molina owned a stellar 4.05 GPA and graduated in the top 10 percent of the St. Mary’s Class of 2012. A member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society, she was a Maryland Distinguished Scholar and Maryland Youth of the Year State Finalist while garnering Principal’s Honor Roll recognition. Molina received the Neumann Scholarship for Academic Excellence and was a National Spanish Honor Society Silver Medalist in Academic Excellence. President of the Junior Civitan Club and winner of Outstanding Artist Award, Molina made her mark in the community as well; she garnered a Community Service Award for her 465 hours of service. In addition, she was the Class of 2012 Excellence in Science Award Winner. Molina was three-time captain for Integrity Club Lacrosse while leading the team in scoring for four straight years as well. Molina was a two-year varsity member and team captain for St. Mary’s field hockey team. The Baltimore Sun Player to Watch in 2011, she was an IAAM All-Star, Second Team All-County honoree and winner of the Coaches Award for outstanding leadership.
The Coaching Staff on Molina: “Lauren is a total team attacker. She is a strong off-ball player who sees the play develop and will complement our finishers with her feeding ability.”
Megan Paytas • A • Summit, N.J. • Arts and Sciences
A four-time varsity letterwinner at Summit High School, Paytas posted 279 career points over her decorated career. She was named the Most Improved Player as a sophomore while garnering Second Team All-State as a junior and Third Team laurels as a senior. Paytas was named All-Conference and First Team All-County in each of her final two seasons. That came one year after earning Second Team All-County sophomore year. Paytas was also a member of STEPS Elite Lacrosse.
The Coaching Staff on Paytas: “Megan’s greatest strength is assisting her teammates. Her timing and vision will help her be productive on the offensive end. She is also a capable finisher and crease player.”
Hannah Street • M/D • Crofton, Md. • Business
Street was a four-year varsity member at South River High School. A senior captain, she was a Second Team All-County Coaches Pick and Academic All-American in 2011 and 2012. Street was an active member of the 2010 3A-4A Maryland State Champion team and four-year Minds in Motion Athlete. Also a cross country and soccer varsity letter recipient, Street garnered numerous honors in the classroom. She was a National Honor Society Member and member of the Principal’s Honor Roll throughout high school. Street was Best Buddies President, which is an international organization that sets up friendship between students with and without intellectual or developmental disabilities.
The Coaching Staff on Street: “Hannah has excellent stamina and enthusiasm. Her determination and commitment will be an asset to our defensive unit.”
Marina Venezia • GK • Mount Sinai, N.Y. • Engineering
Venezia comes to Lehigh from Mount Sinai High School, the same school as Mountain Hawks’ men’s goalie Matt Poillon. Strong on the field and in the classroom, Venezia was a two-time Academic All-American, an AP Scholar with distinction, Treasurer of the National Honor Society and the Valedictorian of her graduating class. A multi-sport athlete, Venezia was Scholar-Athlete in three sports (lacrosse, basketball and cross country). A four-year varsity letterwinner in lacrosse, Venezia earned the Coaches Award in 2012 and All-Division laurels in 2010. She helped lead Mount Sinai to the Suffolk County and Long Island Championship in 2011 while finishing as runner-up for the State Title. Venezia also played lacrosse for the Long Island Yellow Jackets. She was an Academic All-County recipient for basketball in 2012 and a National Merit Scholarship commended student.
The Coaching Staff on Venezia:“Marina brings size to our goalkeeping unit. She will challenge our attackers and add variety to our clearing game.”
Lehigh Women’s Lacrosse Class of 2016
Name, Pos., Hometown/High, School College
Kris Abens, M, Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville, Arts and Sciences
Kendall Garden, M, Davidsonville, Md./Archbishop Spalding, Arts and Sciences
Nicole Isdaner, M, Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter, Arts and Sciences
Elizabeth Johnson, D, Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown, Business
Victoria Kotowski, M/A, Lloyd Harbor, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor, Arts and Sciences
Lauren Molina, A, Riva, Md./St. Mary’s, Arts and Sciences
Megan Paytas, A, Summit, N.J./Summit, Arts and Sciences
Hannah Street, M/D, Crofton, Md./South River, Business
Marina Venezia, GK, Mount Sinai, N.Y./Mount Sinai, Engineering