Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/26/14
From Press Release
A talented group of nine newcomers is now on campus and taking fall semester classes as part of the University of North Carolina women’s lacrosse team. The group includes eight freshmen and a sophomore transfer and is comprised of four midfielders, three attacking midfielders and two defenders.
“We are very excited to welcome in our 2014 class to Carolina,” says head coach Jenny Levy. “We believe each recruiting class we bring into UNC is talented and has great potential, and this class is no different. The four-year journey through Carolina and the legacy a specific class leaves is up to them, dependent on how committed are they to demonstrate a consistent standard of excellence, are they willing to work extra, do they spend time cultivating meaningful relationships with teammates, and show up every day to compete and exhaust their potential.”
The incoming class includes midfielder and Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year Marie McCool (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown), midfielder Bridget Curran (Fair Haven, N.J./Rumson Fair Haven Regional), midfielder Eliza Dorsey (Beverly, Mass./The Governor’s Academy), defender Elizabeth Haus (Lutherville, Md./Notre Dame Prep), attacking midfielder Ela Hazar (Westwood, Mass./Westwood), defender Naomi Lerner (Chapel Hill, N.C./Durham Academy), attacking midfielder Kacey McKinnon (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines), attacking midfielder Alex Moore (Millstone Township, N.J./Allentown High), a sophomore transfer from the University of Southern California, and midfielder Carolyn Paletta (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich).
“In the recruiting process, we not only look for the exceptional talent, but also student-athletes who buy into our overall philosophy of excellence in all arenas (academic, athletic and service),” Levy says. “This class fits all of our criteria. Their overall competitive mentality, work ethic and passion for the game will help them transition into the college game and be a key to blending in with our returning players.”
The nine newcomers will join a strong cast of nine returning starters and 25 letterwinners who hope to carry Carolina to its second NCAA championship in the last three seasons next spring. The Tar Heels will return eight of their top 10 scorers from a season ago when they take the field in 2015 and also look forward to the return of Brittney Coppa, Sammy Jo Tracy, Kelly Devlin and Morgan Rubin and others who missed all or most of the 2014 campaign due to injuries.
“We are looking forward to the start of our fall practice,” says Levy. “We have a lot of talent and experience returning and new players who I feel will be able to contribute right away. The energy, focus and competitiveness of our practice environment will be top-notch. The way our season ended last year stung and I know we will all use it as a motivating factor all year.”
Marie McCool is among the nation’s top incoming freshmen for the 2015 season after earning prep All-America honors in each of the last three seasons at Moorestown HS. She led Moorestown to state championships in each of those three years. A two-time New Jersey state player of the year by the Star-Ledger, McCool started in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Classic, finishing with a goal, two draw controls and a ground ball to lead the North team to the win. She also was named a 2014 US Lacrosse first-team All-America and an honors graduate. McCool also was an Academic All-America and a finalist for the Heather Leigh Albert Award as the top player in the US Lacrosse National Tournament in 2013. She led the state of New Jersey in goals in both 2013 and 2014 with 86 and 81, respectively. She finished her career with 268 goals and 94 assists, including 81 and 44 as a senior, 86 and 26 as a junior and 84 and 17 as a sophomore. McCool played four years of both soccer and lacrosse, serving as team captain in both sports. Her older sister played lacrosse at the University of Oregon.
Alex Moore led USC in goals as a freshman in 2014 and is eligible to play for Carolina in 2015. She led the Trojans with 35 goals and was second on the team with 11 assists and 46 total points last spring, earning MPSF All-Conference Second Team honors. She started all 18 games for the Trojans, finishing the year with 11 free position goals (sixth in the conference), 15 draw controls (fourth on the team), 12 ground balls and six caused turnovers. She scored a pair of game-winning goals and scored a goal in 16 of 18 games on the season. A native of Millstone Township, N.J., Moore played her prep lacrosse at Allentown High School. Inside Lacrosse named her one of the nation’s top 25 incoming freshmen prior to the 2014 season, and she also was a 2013 Under Armour All-America and two-time US Lacrosse All-America. One of the best players in New Jersey history and an honor student in the classroom, Moore set the state single-season scoring record as a junior in 2012, then set the state career scoring record as a senior. She finished her prep career with 434 goals and 219 assists. Her father played lacrosse at Rutgers University.
Bridget Curran started in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Classic, finishing with an assist, a ground ball and two draw controls to help lead the North team to the win. She also was named a 2014 US Lacrosse first-team All-America. Curran led Rumson Fair Haven Regional HS to a 2011 New Jersey sectional title, 2013 and 2014 Shore Conference championships and a berth in the 2014 state semifinals. A two-time team captain and two-time Under Armour Underclassman All-America, she finished her career with 155 goals and 104 assists for 259 points. A 2014 Academic All-America, Curran played four years of varsity lacrosse and two years of varsity basketball as a point guard. She was the sports editor of the school yearbook and earned honor roll status every semester of her high school career. From a large, extended family, her father played football and lacrosse at Amherst College and her brother is a lacrosse team captain at Villanova University. She has nine cousins who will be active college student-athletes in 2014-15.
Eliza Dorsey was named a 2014 US Lacrosse first-team All-America at the Governor’s Academy, where she earned 12 varsity letters (four each in lacrosse and soccer and two each in basketball and indoor track). Her numerous honors on the lacrosse field also include second-team All-America honors in 2013, a national team championship in 2012, team captainship and several all-conference and all-region accolades. She is a gifted downhill skier who formerly competed in gymnastics and figure skating.
Elizabeth Haus led Notre Dame Prep and was named a 2014 US Lacrosse first-team All-America. She also was a two-time US Lacrosse Academic All-America, a decorated field hockey player and a distance runner on the indoor track and field team. Her uncle, John Haus, was the UNC men’s lacrosse head coach from 2001-08. Three of her uncles (John, Tom and Kevin Haus) played lacrosse at Carolina, and Elizabeth Haus has a background as a competitive horseback rider. An honor student, she graduated Cum Laude with memberships in the Science, Spanish, History and Mu Alpha Theta (math) honor societies.
Ela Hazar was a four-year starter and two-time All-America at Westwood HS while also playing four years of hockey and three years of soccer. She helped lead Westwood to three state championships in four years, picking up a slew of conference, regional and state honors. She came off the bench to play in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Classic, finishing with a goal, an assist, three draw controls and a ground ball to help the North team to the win. She also was named a 2014 US Lacrosse first-team All-America. As a senior, Hazar tallied 75 goals and 40 assists after piling up 90 goals and 46 assists as a junior. She is a talented skier and snowboarder, and her sister plays soccer at Brown University.
Naomi Lerner is a Chapel Hill native who earned a total of 11 varsity letters at Durham Academy (four each in lacrosse and basketball and three in field hockey), serving as team captain in three sports. As a senior on the lacrosse field, Lerner led her team in ground balls and caused turnovers and was second in assists and fourth in goals. She picked up honorable mention All-America and Academic All-America honors along the way. An honor roll student all four years of high school, she was the leader of the Durham Academy chapter of WISER (Women’s Institute of Secondary Education and Research) Club, which raises money to fund an all-girls school in Kenya. Lerner also has a sister who attends Carolina.
Kacey McKinnon, the first California and West Coast product to play women’s lacrosse at Carolina, played four years of lacrosse and one of soccer at Torrey Pines HS in San Diego. She earned all-league honors all four years of her career, including first-team accolades in each of her last three seasons. She was the conference MVP in both 2013 and 2014, leading the league in assists as a junior. McKinnon finished her career with 143 goals and 80 assists, including 41 and 18, respectively, as a senior. She scored career-high 48 goals as a sophomore.
Carolyn Paletta led Greenwich HS to a 2012 Connecticut state championship, earned Under Armour All-America honors as a junior in 2013 and served as team captain as a senior. She earned all-state honors three times while earning four varsity letters in lacrosse and two in soccer. A mainstay on the academic honor roll, Paletta’s father, Stephen, played lacrosse at Cornell University and was a three-time All-America defender. Her mother, Christine, was a varsity gymnast at Cornell.